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 Post subject: Journey of a Taper
PostPosted: Mon Sep 26, 2011 1:25 pm 
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I thought it was about time I started a post about my own tapering experience. Not only marking the calendar but following my schedule here will help with my journey. And all the w/d symptoms as they arise so everyone can see what is happening on what dose.

Using my own advice, this is being down somewhat slowly. I've had setbacks and may have more. I accept that I am human and an addict who is trying to get better.

For the last week I have been on 1.50mgs of Suboxone. I was going to wait two weeks but got anxious and started today with 1.25mgs. The last time I dropped from 1.5mg to 1.0mg and suffered anxiety and depression. It scared me enough to ask my doctor for some Effexor to get me through the taper period. I've been on that for about 13 days and still have not felt any different. The dose of that is 75mgs and the lowest dose it comes in. (I think)

Learning from Laddertippers taper I will not make large jumps. And if this gets uncomfortable then I'll go back and forth from 1.25 to 1.50mgs until my body adjusts. I also asked for Clonidine and that is sitting waiting to be used. No benzo's for me as I tend to abuse them.

I am trying not to rush this but do want off. My doctor was kind enough to give me enough Sub to last a very long time. He prescribed 60 2mg films twice knowing I was on only 2mgs. So I do have three boxes as of today to last me. (90 films) He said I might not need to see him again for awhile if I can do this right. I'll go see him for any other comfort meds as it goes along.

It will take at least two to three days to see if this dose is being tolerated okay. So far it's been a breeze tapering down so low. Hell, I started on 24mgs back on May 2, 2010. Made large drops and six months later was down to a maintenance of 8mgs. This stuff still makes me groggy and not myself. I feel like I'm never on top of my game unless I drink a lot of coffee. Even at 1.50mgs I feel the need to lay down in the afternoon. It will be so nice to get this stuff out of my system for good.

So that's the 411. A week, maybe two before my next drop to 1.0mgs. We'll see from there.

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 Post subject: Change in Plan
PostPosted: Thu Sep 29, 2011 11:52 am 
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Well so much for trying to taper slowly. Went to my ENT yesterday for a followup for that sinus infection I had and she discovered two lumps on my throat. Told me I will need to have surgery to take one or both off and today I'm scheduled for a CT scan to see what the heck they are. Next Wednesday is a biopsy procedure.

She said she was very concerned and really wouldn't answer any questions. Just said to get this done ASAP.

So now with surgery on the near horizon I need to either jump now or do a fast taper. From what I've read from others here is you need to be off Sub for three days before surgery. Sound right? Luckily I am at a low dose so it shouldn't be all that bad. Have been on 1.25 for the last three days but will drop to 1mg today. I have some Clonidine to assist.

What do you all think? Will jumping from 1mg be all that bad? She didn't say when the surgery will be but it is a definite. I'd hate to be dealing with bad w/d's before I go into this but may have to. Pretty confused and a little scared right now.

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PostPosted: Thu Sep 29, 2011 1:09 pm 
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I am so sorry! It seems like everyone that is tapering keeps getting bad stuff thrown at them!I have never tapered so I can't offer any advise on that. I basically know what you know from reading other peoples threads and agree the consensus seems to be that you should discontinue sub 3 days before the surgery. Since you are on such a low dose you might be able to wait longer before stopping. Do you have a decent sub doc? If so you should ask him to talk to the operating doc and explain sub and pain control to make sure your pain is controlled. I wish you the best and keep us posted!


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PostPosted: Thu Sep 29, 2011 1:22 pm 
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First of all, rule, I'm so sorry this complication has come up and I hope everything turns out all right. I'll be thinking of you.

Since you're only on about 1 mg, if you stop 3 days before the surgery, you'll be in withdrawals pretty quickly. But the upside is since you are on a low dose, you're in a better position to get decent pain control.

I second the idea of having your sub doc touch base with your ENT.

Good luck with everything and keep us posted, please.

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 Post subject: Re: Change in Plan
PostPosted: Thu Sep 29, 2011 3:26 pm 
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rule62 wrote:
Well so much for trying to taper slowly. Went to my ENT yesterday for a followup for that sinus infection I had and she discovered two lumps on my throat. Told me I will need to have surgery to take one or both off and today I'm scheduled for a CT scan to see what the heck they are. Next Wednesday is a biopsy procedure.

She said she was very concerned and really wouldn't answer any questions. Just said to get this done ASAP.

So now with surgery on the near horizon I need to either jump now or do a fast taper. From what I've read from others here is you need to be off Sub for three days before surgery. Sound right? Luckily I am at a low dose so it shouldn't be all that bad. Have been on 1.25 for the last three days but will drop to 1mg today. I have some Clonidine to assist.

What do you all think? Will jumping from 1mg be all that bad? She didn't say when the surgery will be but it is a definite. I'd hate to be dealing with bad w/d's before I go into this but may have to. Pretty confused and a little scared right now.


Oh man, I'm so sorry this is happening to you....It's so hard to wait and see and be worried.

You absolutely need to speak with the anesthesiologist. You don't want to back yourself into a corner and be unable to get pain relief. I jumped off 3 mg 1 week before surgery in '07 and it still took many Fentanyl injections to knock the rest of the Sub off. The anesthesiologist will know what to do, but they have to know exactly what you are and have been taking.

It's amazing how many of us tapering people end up having to push it along because of surgery.

laddertipper

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PostPosted: Thu Sep 29, 2011 4:15 pm 
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Thanks All,

Yea, what is this with so many of us in the tapering process and then, Whack! We get hit with something. On the positive side, it is sure better to be on a low dose with the exception of it leaving my system too fast. I may just jump if I get the nerve.

Oh well, all I can do is wait and see. Once I know the surgery date I'll make sure both my ENT doctor and the anesthesiologist have either talked to my Sub doctor or at least know how to treat me.

Hopefully it's just a cyst and not the big C. This is driving my wife nuts! (me too of course) It's the not knowing that is bad.

Thanks Again.

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 Post subject: You Can Do It!
PostPosted: Thu Sep 29, 2011 5:05 pm 
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Rule, I am sorry to hear, but I think that there are reasons for why things happen and when they do.
You can do this, and I feel that with the support of your family and this forum, your jump will not be bad.
Keep us updated!!!!! Much <3


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 Post subject: The Family
PostPosted: Fri Sep 30, 2011 2:29 pm 
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Hi Jenzo,

Thanks for the upbeat post. I haven't told my family yet with the exception of my sister in law because she is close by and can help if necessary.

We decided to not tell my family until we know what it is. There is no need to have everyone worry if it's a benign growth. Once we know then we'll tell them.

Now I know how women feel when they find a lump and have to wait and see. The mind can bring on not so happy thoughts.

Also, doing some research I found four people who were at 1mg and started skipping a day and then jumped. All of them stated the w/d's were not bad at all. It gave me encouragement and I may just skip my dose tomorrow and see what happens.

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PostPosted: Fri Sep 30, 2011 3:22 pm 
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Hi Rule, I'm sorry to hear what you are going through. The important thing is you are getting it taken care of. Even though this isn't what you planned I think it's great that you're down around 1mg, so you won't have a lot in your system before the surgery and that should certainly help matters.

Also, I'm in the camp of "it's not that bad". Even though I didn't go totally off (this time) my experience is that the physical WD's aren't too bad, and I'm a huge baby. I can't take Clonidine because of my low blood pressure, but if you have it I think it will make you more comfortable. If you do decide to go off permanently when you have the surgery, just be ready for some emotional ups and downs. It sounds like you are preparing for it by going on the Effexor (which also has to be tapered BTW).

I know this must be hard to go through, but it seems that you are in a pretty good place going into it. You have a solid plan and it sounds like you're up to the challenge. Please continue to keep us posted.
Lilly


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 Post subject: Re: The Family
PostPosted: Fri Sep 30, 2011 5:26 pm 
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rule62 wrote:
Hi Jenzo,

Thanks for the upbeat post. I haven't told my family yet with the exception of my sister in law because she is close by and can help if necessary.

We decided to not tell my family until we know what it is. There is no need to have everyone worry if it's a benign growth. Once we know then we'll tell them.

Now I know how women feel when they find a lump and have to wait and see. The mind can bring on not so happy thoughts.

Also, doing some research I found four people who were at 1mg and started skipping a day and then jumped. All of them stated the w/d's were not bad at all. It gave me encouragement and I may just skip my dose tomorrow and see what happens.



To help, my friend jumped at 1mg and he said it was noticeable but not really that bad, compared to full agonists. So, I plan on doing the same, when I actually GET to 1mg;) Skip and update please, prayers are with you!


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PostPosted: Fri Sep 30, 2011 10:17 pm 
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Hey Rule,

I'm here routing for ya too!!! I echo all the sentiments and warm wishes that others have already posted to you.

I wanted to let you know, when I jumped off of Suboxone, I panicked and took some Lorcet (Vicoden) about 18 hours after I jumped and I felt them (I took 2) kick in nicely. I jumped from a lot higher than 1mg too.

I think because your Suboxone dose is already pretty low that you shouldn't have too much difficulty with pain control, especially if you continue to work your dose down between now and the surgery.

My prayers are with you and your family, take care and please keep us up to date.

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 Post subject: Pain Relief
PostPosted: Sat Oct 01, 2011 12:26 pm 
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Thanks Romeo,

I've been thinking the same thing. Today I am going to skip my dose and see how it goes. I have a script of Clonidine to assist if necessary. If I can hold out until tomorrow, I will take .75mgs and see how that goes. If all is well, I may jump from there. I would like to be completely off by the time I have surgery, whenever that will be. It all depends how the biopsy goes.

Jenzo, getting down to 1mg was very easy. For some reason I didn't have much of a reaction this time. Went from 1.5 to 1.25 for three days then to 1mg the last three. Haven't taken any today (day 3). Just a wee bit of anxiety but I figured it was because of what I'm going through and not the taper.

Lilly, thanks for the encouragement. It won't be that bad.

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 Post subject: I Caved
PostPosted: Sat Oct 01, 2011 7:00 pm 
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Well, I got to about 3pm and caved in and took some Sub. Not that I felt that bad, it was as we all know, mental. The mind is a terrible place going through even mild w/d. Felt out of lethargic, and no concentration. Time was ticking ever so slowly and I gave in.

But then I realized this is not the right time to try to stop my Sub. I am going through an extreme situation right now and don't need the added discomfort of withdrawal. I was told it was possible to get pain relief from my low dose only after 18-24 hours. I can handle that. Plus, I may end up using the Sub as a pain analgesic after surgery. I am afraid to get any pain meds knowing my brain. And I know tapering is a very doable thing so even if I go up in dose, so be it.

So for now I'm feeling better as the Sub takes effect. I even upped it a wee bit as my throat is bothering me and I'm losing my voice. (3 cheers from the wife)

Also, now I know that jumping won't be all that bad. No real physical discomfort, just no energy and a general feeling of blah. Still waiting for the Effexor to kick in too.

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PostPosted: Sat Oct 01, 2011 10:22 pm 
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I think that is a good idea, especially since the withdrawl from sub seems to be mainly depression and anxiety and you do not need more of that right now. The waiting is the worst. In the last year me and 2 close relatives had the same situations, but obviously in different parts of the body. It is horrible to sit and wait. Your mind goes to the worst, how could it not. I am happy to report that none of us had cancer! My aunts experience was the worst, her Dr. told her that she was quite sure she had cancer and set her biopsy up for a month out, then she had to wait 2 weeks for the results. So she went a month and a half believing she had cancer for no reason! I do not think Drs should say a word until its confirmed. Instead of telling you that you have 2 lumps that are of great concern and need to be biopsied, why couldn't she just have said well looks like you still have some swelling and I would like to do a couple test to see what's going on? So now you and your family are stuck worried and waiting. I hope you get good news and if it is the worst then at least they caught it so they can treat you. I am sure you will be fine and one day you'll be the one telling someone else how a Dr made you worry for no reason. Take it easy and don't put yourself thru any unnecessary stress. My thoughts are with you and your family!


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PostPosted: Sun Oct 02, 2011 11:05 am 
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Hey Rule,

I think using Suboxone to try and control pain after surgery is a good idea for you. I also agree that now is just not the best time for you to be trying to quit Suboxone altogether. You upped your dose a bit, no harm, no foul.......just don't keep increasing it for no reason. And remember, we addicts can always come up with plausible reasons to increase our drug intake, so be careful Bud.

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 Post subject: Re: Pain Relief
PostPosted: Sun Oct 02, 2011 12:15 pm 
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rule62 wrote:
Thanks Romeo,

I've been thinking the same thing. Today I am going to skip my dose and see how it goes. I have a script of Clonidine to assist if necessary. If I can hold out until tomorrow, I will take .75mgs and see how that goes. If all is well, I may jump from there. I would like to be completely off by the time I have surgery, whenever that will be. It all depends how the biopsy goes.

Jenzo, getting down to 1mg was very easy. For some reason I didn't have much of a reaction this time. Went from 1.5 to 1.25 for three days then to 1mg the last three. Haven't taken any today (day 3). Just a wee bit of anxiety but I figured it was because of what I'm going through and not the taper.

Lilly, thanks for the encouragement. It won't be that bad.




Hey good idea for the pain management w subs-this stuff is pretty strong anyway!
i am back to 1.5mg and just holding here. ill be tapering in about a month to 1mg, then hold there for a while. just kinda taking it easy!
my thought are with you during these hard times-keep us posted!


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 Post subject: Update
PostPosted: Sat Oct 15, 2011 8:08 pm 
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Yesterday sucked. All that hassle that goes with having surgery and all she did was take a piece for a biopsy. I'm not even close to being done and it costs quite a bit of money.

Here was the main problem. ME. All the research I did about Sub and surgery (Thanks Hat) had me thinking my Dr. would give me decent pain relief. Wrong. First off, the anesthesia put me in one big foul mood. When the nurse gave me the scripts to fill later, the doctor only gave me a small amount of Tylenol 3's! That set me off and I actually stopped at her office on the way home, gave back the script with some Suboxone material to read and asked the staff to have her call in something that would actually work. Damn I was pissed.

After six hours and no response I called and she actually talked to me and said that was all she was approving. I asked her if she understood the problem with Suboxone blocking opiate pain medication and she said yes. I was told the operation didn't take that much of the tongue so I shouldn't be feeling much pain. I don't suppose she's had a bite taken out and then cauterized. Could barely even sip water it was so sore. Luckily my wife had a full script of Norco 10's so she gave me about six for the day. That dulled the pain somewhat.

So here is my thoughts today on what happened.

1) I had the image of what I should have received for pain relief and didn't get it. It insulted my intelligence after all the research I did.
2) The anesthesia had a bad effect even with the Demerol. Of course I asked for the maximum dose.
3) My addiction took over my ability to reason. Weeks of dreaming that I was finally going to get some pain pills which I haven't had since May of '10 had me salivating.

No more kidding myself about what really happened. She was correct that I really didn't need much pain medication. I feel quite better today and turned down my wife's offer of a couple more Norco's. My plan was to wait till later in the day until I felt edgy and then go back on my Suboxone, but at a larger dose for pain relief. I was taking 1mg before surgery and today I took 4mgs after not having any for two days. It kicked in a few hours ago and now I feel good.

I have to think long and hard about what I'm going to do now. In my heart I know it's cancer but we won't get the pathology report until next Monday or Tuesday. Either way, I'm having much more invasive surgery and or chemo/radiation treatment in the future. Do I get off the Sub or not? Don't want any more stress than I already have now and my wife could not deal with any mood changes from me, she's freaked out enough already.

Thanks everyone for your support. You have no idea how much it means. I do owe an apology and explanation to my Dr. She really saw the addict in me out in full force. It's embarrassing.

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PostPosted: Sun Oct 16, 2011 2:09 am 
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Hey Rule,

By the time I got to #2 on your "thoughts of what happened today" I was thinking to myself, "Crap, I'm gonna have to bust him on his addict behavior", but YOU did it for me!!! Good Job, man!! You recognized and took accountability for obsessing and overreacting to this stressful situation. That speaks VOLUMES in my book. I just can't explain properly how thrilled I am that you were able to take an honest look at everything and see the "addict in action."

I'm certainly keeping you and your family in my prayers while you go through this health issue and I'm hoping everything turns out fine.

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PostPosted: Sun Oct 16, 2011 10:54 am 
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I'm sorry to hear that your doctor was so closed-minded and rigid. You tried and maybe some day she'll actually read some of what you gave her and it will sink in. I try to be optimistic like that. But I'm glad your pain wasn't too much to bear for very long.

Obviously you're afraid of the biopsy report - who wouldn't be! I know I'd be on the edge of my seat as well. Try not to worry, although I know that's difficult to do. Hang in there and PLEASE do keep us posted. I'll be thinking about you.

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 Post subject: Re: Update
PostPosted: Mon Oct 17, 2011 6:44 am 
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rule62 wrote:
Yesterday sucked. All that hassle that goes with having surgery and all she did was take a piece for a biopsy. I'm not even close to being done and it costs quite a bit of money.

Here was the main problem. ME. All the research I did about Sub and surgery (Thanks Hat) had me thinking my Dr. would give me decent pain relief. Wrong. First off, the anesthesia put me in one big foul mood. When the nurse gave me the scripts to fill later, the doctor only gave me a small amount of Tylenol 3's! That set me off and I actually stopped at her office on the way home, gave back the script with some Suboxone material to read and asked the staff to have her call in something that would actually work. Damn I was pissed.

After six hours and no response I called and she actually talked to me and said that was all she was approving. I asked her if she understood the problem with Suboxone blocking opiate pain medication and she said yes. I was told the operation didn't take that much of the tongue so I shouldn't be feeling much pain. I don't suppose she's had a bite taken out and then cauterized. Could barely even sip water it was so sore. Luckily my wife had a full script of Norco 10's so she gave me about six for the day. That dulled the pain somewhat.





So here is my thoughts today on what happened.

1) I had the image of what I should have received for pain relief and didn't get it. It insulted my intelligence after all the research I did.
2) The anesthesia had a bad effect even with the Demerol. Of course I asked for the maximum dose.
3) My addiction took over my ability to reason. Weeks of dreaming that I was finally going to get some pain pills which I haven't had since May of '10 had me salivating.

No more kidding myself about what really happened. She was correct that I really didn't need much pain medication. I feel quite better today and turned down my wife's offer of a couple more Norco's. My plan was to wait till later in the day until I felt edgy and then go back on my Suboxone, but at a larger dose for pain relief. I was taking 1mg before surgery and today I took 4mgs after not having any for two days. It kicked in a few hours ago and now I feel good.

I have to think long and hard about what I'm going to do now. In my heart I know it's cancer but we won't get the pathology report until next Monday or Tuesday. Either way, I'm having much more invasive surgery and or chemo/radiation treatment in the future. Do I get off the Sub or not? Don't want any more stress than I already have now and my wife could not deal with any mood changes from me, she's freaked out enough already.

Thanks everyone for your support. You have no idea how much it means. I do owe an apology and explanation to my Dr. She really saw the addict in me out in full force. It's embarrassing.



Dear Rule62,

I lost this post so thanks for the pm update. I would have acted the same way you did had my Dr. given me tylenol#3!!
That is just like taking candy. I would have gone into full orbit addiction hydroplane!! ...so glad you caught yourself. I would probably have been to stupid to see what I was doing. I am sorry now that you have to wait wait for the biopsy.
My prayers are with you and your family and hopefully everything will turn out ok.


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