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PostPosted: Tue Oct 11, 2011 2:46 pm 
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Greetings all, I am so happy I have found this forum. I have been reading and I am finally ready to join. Heres what is going on with me.

I began smoking H (first time ever) in May of 2011. (bad choice to get thru school and various personal issues) I used daily for only 2 months. Afraid of withdrawl, I got on Suboxone May 17 2011. Without doing any research. I was on 4mg. for 3 months. (after the initial induction of 16mg or something like that) I tapered the past 2 weeks up and down to 3mg. I have experienced depresion, tummy issues, loss of appetite and my feet really hurt. I'm a 39 yr. old single Mom of 9, 15, 19 year olds. I am very open and honest w/ my kids. I have no real support system except my kids and really, I am their only support system. I work for myself as a massage therapist. (for 20 years now)

So, now I am here: On 3mg. of suboxone (been on this amount for the past 4-5 days.) I am trying to stay on top of my situation(kids & work) and trying to get OFF suboxone. I have a decent Doc. that is leaving it up to me how and when I get off Sub. So I really want to do it the easiest/fastest way possible to avoid loosing everything we (my kids and i) have and experiencing withdrawl because if i dont work, I dont make money and I am sort of living "day to day" just to pay my bills and keep us in our apartment.

I wonder since I am not a long term opiate abuser and I have only been on Suboxone for less than 5 months, am I going to be able to get off easier than someone that is a long term useer/abuser? I do experience mild to withdrawl symptoms everytime lower my dose & it is hard to work while feeling this way. Gosh I am a baby.....I welcome any feedback.


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PostPosted: Tue Oct 11, 2011 4:30 pm 
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Hi Sweet16,

Welcome to the forum!!

So, your opiate use only started this year?? You weren't taking any opiates (heroin, pain pills, etc) before May of this year?? I just want to make sure I'm understanding this correctly.

It looks like you started Suboxone at 16mg. You were there for a month or two, then tapered down to 4mg. You've been at 4mg for 3 months and are now tapering down to 3mg.

You sound like you're doing really good with your taper.

Once many people get around the 4mg mark, they start to feel the wd much more. Usually around 4mg, we suggest people cut their dose by 10% to 25% and stabilize at the new dose, once stable, cut the dose by 10% or 25% and do it all over again until you're on a VERY low dose (well under 1mg). Some people stabilize in a week or so, some people take a little bit longer to stabilize. The key is listening to your body.

You can make this wd as minimally painful as you like, you're just gonna have to take your time. If you want, you can rush things and you're gonna feel it a bit more.

Seeing as you were on Suboxone for 5 months, you shouldn't get hit too, too hard with wd. Again, try to taper slowly, listen to what your body is telling you and you'll be OK.

Keep posting and asking any questions you have, that's what we're here for.

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PostPosted: Tue Oct 11, 2011 6:14 pm 
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Thank you kindly Romeo, I really appreciate you responding to my post. I have read a lot on this forum and you are very helpful to so many people.
I thought about what you asked regarding my drug history specifically involving opiates. I would consider myself a "binge" user. Last time I had an issue was in 2002. I was taking 6-7.5mg vicodin 2 times a day for about 2-3 months. (i got script due to kidney stone surgery) I started to drink beer with it toward the end and made myself pretty sick so I quit taking the pills & I don't remember it being horribly turbulent as far as withdrawal. (Mainly extreme "emotional discomfort) before that I sort of just messed around here and there w/ various substances. You name it, I tried it. I do curently take Xanax nightly as I suffer from insomnia, I also smoke weed but not a lot.
I am finally "getting" that I am blessed to have a wonderful existence & anything I do, really interferes w/ my happiness. Even though getting high has always been something I sought after. Guess im a perfect candidate for counseling. I agree that going from 4 down to 3 was not easy. I tried going straight from 4 to 3 & hit a wall. So I went back up & once I felt ok at 4 again I went to 3.5 for 8 days then on to 3. So I'm going to taper 10% every 8-10 days till I can barely reduce the medication further. I really am a wussy. Btw, I take the sub strips which I think will be easier to measure. I just can not believe what an emotional rollercoaster this stuff creates. Damn, I wanted a ride, I got one... Lesson learned. Again thank you. I'm sure I'll buzz in periodically if not often.


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PostPosted: Tue Oct 11, 2011 11:46 pm 
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Don't be ashamed to try some counseling. I know that's sometimes easier said than done. I HATED the thought of going to see an addiction counselor, it made my skin crawl. But, once I got going, it was good. I lucked out and found a really good counselor right off the bat.

The emotional rollercoaster is how a lot of people refer to Suboxone wd. It's a pretty common thing.

As far as continuing to lower your dose until you can't lower it any further, many shoot for the .25mg mark as a jumping off point. Once you get to 2mg, you're gonna want to get your Doctor to switch you over to the 2mg films, then you can continue on down to well under 1mg, all the way to .25mg if you choose.

You're doing great, keep after it!!

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PostPosted: Wed Oct 12, 2011 12:36 am 
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Wow, thanks a lot Romeo, It did not occur to me to even ask for a lower dose from my doc. I wonder how long it is gonna take me now that I am on 3 mg. I seem to be holding steady. (minus the usual lack of energy and depression) It has only been 3-4 days maybe 5. I think now may be the time to start taking note of my progression.
I will toss the idea of counseling. Have you heard of anyone doing Bikrams Yoga while tapering?
Oh, and am I good in this forum or should I move to another page? I am totally new to this stuff, not ever entirely sure how I was lucky enough to discover this place.
One more thing, I noticed that it may be possible that I am not really getting a full 3 mg. of the drug because of the absorption thing? Is this true? I have noticed that, even today, I got a little buzz from just the 3 mg. I took this am. Surprised how this is possible when I reduced my dose by 1/4 over the past 2 weeks. Must really be powerful stuff considering those facts.
Thanks again for the info. I really have nobody else to talk to about this issue. (nor would I feel comfortable, no one would understand unless in these shoes)
-sweet16


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PostPosted: Wed Oct 12, 2011 7:59 am 
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Hi 16 and welcome to the forum. We're happy to have you with us. Romeo gave you some pretty good advice about tapering down lower and lower. Another way to go about it very slowly is to switch your dose every other day. For example if you're having trouble getting down under 4 mg, you could take 4 mg one day, 3 the next, then 4, then 3, etc. It does go a bit slower that way, but to me the slower the taper the better. You don't want to "shock" your brain by pulling away the opiates too quickly - that's when the w/d happen.

Personally, I think you might have an easier time getting off it, but not because you've only been on sub a short time, but in my opinion it's because you used H for such a short time. When people come off suboxone, I think they forget to add all the time they were using their DOC, too.

I hope this helps and I wish you the best with your taper. Again, welcome to the forum.

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PostPosted: Wed Oct 12, 2011 11:28 am 
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Hey sweet,

I understand you asking the question of "how long will it take" now that you're at 3mg because you want to be done, but you MUST give yourself permission to proceed at your own pace. You've already stated that you don't want to miss work, you have children to take care of, etc. You CAN get off of Suboxone AND do all the other things in your life that you want to if you'll proceed at your own pace.....which means this taper process might take you months.

You also have to remember, this is all just my opinion. My opinion on this subject has been formed by reading posts on this forum for almost a year now. But, one thing I am constantly amazed by is how differently Suboxone wd treats us all. We've had some people jump from 2mg or so and not miss a day of work. You MAY be able to jump from 2mg or so and be ok.....it's impossible to say?? However, I am 99% sure that if you taper, taper, taper you will be able to get off of Suboxone with minimal side effects.

Another member, Laddertipper, just completed a long, slow taper. She jumped off Suboxone a month ago tomorrow. Her wd experience was very tolerable. I hope she sees this thread and jumps in.

Ummm, never heard of Bikrams Yoga.....I'm a guy, not a girl!!! LOL!!!

As far as how are you doing on this forum, you're doing just great!! You don't have to move your posts or anything like that. Actually, it'd probably be wise to continue posting under this thread. It gives people a "one stop shop" to read your history and to read where you are today. You're doin' just fine!!

Don't worry too much about the absorption thing, just keeping taking your medicine as you have been.

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PostPosted: Wed Oct 12, 2011 12:32 pm 
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Hi, and welcome!

You have not been on Sub that long, so I cannot imagine it will be too tough for you. I did a very long taper, but I was on Sub a very long time. :D I'm not sure where you are at, because on one hand, the Sub is giving you a buzz still, but you are also having some symptoms from the taper. Are you dosing once or twice a day? The fact that the Sub is still giving you a buzz is a good sign, IMO, because you can probably drop at a decent clip.

Try to stick to dropping at around 10%. You can drop again as soon as you have several days in a row of feeling good. You may drop at a higher percentage, simply because it's tough to chop the strips up exactly. The main things to remember are to not push yourself past what your body is telling you it can handle. It just doesn't work! Don't 'reward' yourself by taking a bunch of extra Sub here and there. You will mess up your taper because the Sub stays in your system so long. If you drop and it's too tough, just go back to the dose you dropped from for a day and then try again. Exercise, exercise, exercise! It helps every single symptom. You can walk, run, bike, yoga...anything! Just exercise and get your brain pumping those chemicals naturally. You may get to 2 mg or 1 mg and feel like you hit a little plateau. If that happens, just hold steady because it will go away. I doubt it will be that bad for you, considering your short time on Sub. Also, I recommend tapering to 1/16 mg before jumping. This is what I did and I pretty much felt no acute w/d worth mentioning. You may be a wuss, but I am at least as big a wuss, lol.

Keep updating. You can do this!!

laddertipper

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PostPosted: Wed Oct 12, 2011 12:36 pm 
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After reading the first reply to my origonal post, I cried because I was so happy to know that it IS going to be ok. This is such a positive forum. I have read all the struggles and I am thankful to be on this end of the spectrum. I feel for the moms and moms to be. The people that are choosing this road because it is far better than the alternative. Wow, this is an epidemic for sure. I hope and pray my kids see how uncomfortable and f**cked I have felt and do not choose the same road. I am hoping my honesty and experience deters them from the hell of drugs...

@ Romeo, I definitely give myself permission to taper slowly. I really feel like a baby and any mental discomfort is the "end of the world" for me. I know I can suck it up. I have nearly half of my body tattooed so I can handle physical pain rather easily. it is the emotional stuff that really gets me. This is why I ask about the yoga stuff. It is a huge challenge to just stay in the 90 min. class for the duration, let alone the 26 poses. So It is a mental and a physical release. I have known people to cry cry cry after their practice. (i am one of them) They say in class, it is not unusual for us to release in this way. So I may continue, especially when I finally do "jump" as you all say. Btw~ a lot of guys, go to this class. I think it is because most of the females in this class wear swimsuits as we are all sweatting up a storm and it is damn warm. An incentive for the guys..lol.
I will check out laddertippers posts. I am curious about her experience. It really helps to relate with others. I am a bodyworker, I really find it hard to give a decent session if I am low on energy. If I am low on energy, I do allow myself to stay home and rest, but it hurts financially. I will do this taper as slowly as I need to. I will listen to my body.
I just remembered, I did try, 2-3 months ago to skip a dose, but I started craving the bad stuff. I even started looking for a connection...Bad bad bad news. My head was telling me all kinds of wacky stuff like "Oh just do enough to get off sub" "Use only here and there" "Anything in moderation is fine"...all those things. I honestly did not realize how powerful this addiction stuff is till now. Even though I was only using for a short period of time, I got hooked. I am confident I do not want to get high. I will resist the nudges of addiction. This has really changed me in ways I never imagined. (some good and some not so good)
@Hatmaker510- Thank you for accepting me to this forum. It means a lot. My friends have their own struggles and really I just do not think anyone could understand unless they are in the same boat. I know I had a different thought about recovery issues until I have experienced it. I will take your advise and alter my dosing at some point. I will work this every which way until I find the method that works for me. I certainly expect ups and downs. So far, the worst for me is the emotional junk. I guess it is what I really need. I have not addressed so many issues surounding my emotional health. I have spent a great deal of time and money trying to avoid my feelings. Now I am forced to let it all out and hopefully I will find that after all this is over I can face the real issue, whatever it is...
Today, i feel pretty good. I am a little less down in the dumps. I must be stableizing on my 3 mg. I will give it another week till I taper another 10%. Thanks for the support you two. I think it is helping with more than just my curiosity. Maybe it is why I feel sort of "happy" today.
Oh one more thing, I am very much into homeopathic and alternative health, so if anyone wants advice on herbs and nutrition I would love to give my 2 cents. I am not a pro, I just enjoy the subject and I am not a big fan of the Pharmceutical companys. I think they are the devil. Have a wonderful day....
-Sweet16


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PostPosted: Wed Oct 12, 2011 1:31 pm 
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Hello Laddertipper, I was just about to start reading your posts on this site as Romeo mentioned that you recently tapered slowly. So thank so much for the advise. I am on just one dose of 3 mg. a day. I do still get a buzz even though I also experience symptoms of w/d. I will not reward myself by taking extra sub. I did do it once, but it made me feel naseous the entire day and felt nothing like a reward. I can not thank you enough, your reply is so encouraging. I feel like I have already got this thing beat. I know I am a little ways from it being totally over, but I have a positive outlook. I will do the exercize I find it to be good for my body and mind. I live at the beach in SD and I find it so healing. I am here for a reason. I plan to take full advantage of this blessing. So, 1/16 of a mg. is where you jumped. May I ask how long you were on sub and how long it took you take to taper off and jump? Any setbacks you would like to sahre? So no real w/d for you? This is so awesome. I can not wait to get back to my normal self. I have just had no real excitement for life, no zest. I used to be so active and fun. I kind of lost my spirit.
I do have a question reguarding half life. So, lets say I take 4mg. It will take aprox. 37 hrs. for half of the drug to leave my system, correct? And then if I take no more, how long will it take for the remaining to leave my system? I am just curious as I keep reading about the half life. I will take all your advise and do a mere 10% taper till I am at 1/16 of a mg, them I may skip days for a week or two till I am off... thats my plan. At some point I will actually mark on my calandar my taper schedule. Did you do this or did you go at it blindly. I think it will help keep me on track. have a super day. I am off to work...
-Sweet16


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PostPosted: Thu Oct 13, 2011 11:47 am 
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I just wanted to address that "buzz" that you're experiencing. It's possible, even probable, that it's due to you getting your dose under the ceiling (4 mg). Once below there, your opiate receptors are probably no longer saturated. Your bupe levels are going up and down. So when you dose, you "feel" your dose, which is that "buzz" you describe. This is why at low doses, it's said that sub acts more like a full opiate agonist.

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PostPosted: Thu Oct 13, 2011 12:59 pm 
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@ hatmaker510- Wow! This suboxone stuff is so complex. So, am I considered to be on a dose that is under the "celing" of suboxone? What exactly does this mean? Does this mean that only some of my receptors are being activated by suboxone & then some are left empty? Will this cause craving? I wonder if I exercize would my endorphins fill the rest of those particular receptors up or do natural endorphins fill different recepters? And do the receptors ever get smaller or reduce in number? I hate to sound like a dummy, I am just curious if I am always going to have more opiate receptors than a person who has never done opiates?
As far as my taper is going, I am continuing my 3mg. once a day (in the AM) I feel good today. I even felt pretty good upon waking up. I plan to drop down to 2 & 3/4 mg. next week. Last night my legs were so sore. I paid my kids in Oreos to massage my calves.( I am a massage therapist & always massage them for free) I have never experienced RLS so I am wondering if this is the beginning of that. It is interesting to me that the less sub you take the more effect you feel? This is confusing. Anyway, I still have not made an actual taper plan set in writing. I wonder if anyone else that has done a self taper did this and found it helpful.
Thank you all for just being here on this forum. I know for me it has been so helpful & educational. Blessings to all....
-Sweet16


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PostPosted: Thu Oct 13, 2011 3:13 pm 
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Hey Sweet,

I'm gonna leave the "ceiling" question alone in hopes that someone who actually understands it will answer you. That ceiling stuff still confuses me and there is no hard number anyone can give you as to what your ceiling is. It's "around" 4mg, but it could be 8mg or 2mg for all we know???

As far as having more opiate recpetors now than you did prior to using opiates, that's a theory I've seen discussed a few times now and I saw a program on TV about that too. I believe the jury is still out as to whether that's what's actually going on with us or not. I remember the program on TV saying that the extra opiate receptors eventually die out and that when they die out they release chemical distress signals and that's what wd is?? Sounds plausible, but doesn't really mean crap until it's proven.

RLS is more akin to plugging your legs into an electrical socket. You have an uncontrollable urge to move your legs. They'll twitch and carry on. Happens when your legs at rest. Sometimes it's referred to as the "creepy crawlies".....I believe that's the medical term for it!! LOL!!! I fought my RLS by running on our eliptical machine until I would basically collapse. That would kill the RLS for up to 2.5 hours at a time.

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PostPosted: Fri Oct 14, 2011 1:23 am 
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Good evening subox forum friends, I am well on my way to lowering my 3mg. dose of sub down to 2.75. I think that is
2 & 3/4mg. I am not good at math at all, so forgive me if I sound like I am not intellegent. I am wondering if I am safe to lower every 2 weeks. Is this the norm? Providing I have no major symptoms of w/d? I did experience a 2 emotional days but I am also in the process of letting go of a friendship, that needs to end. So I welcome the tears and know that they are ridding my body of attachments to both the drug & the person. I have developed a slight increase in leg pain, but it has been there thru out my addiction. None of this is excrutiating as I keep occupied with work, kids and being at the beach. And I trade min. for min. masage w/ my kids. (on my legs) it works out great for all..Lol

Hey Romeo, I have learned from reading posts that the ceiling we all talk about can be different for each individual. I will not worry too much and just keep an eye out for craving. I do not actually have cravings at this point. I have no connections for my DOC anymore as I completely cut my ties with them. And I am thankful to myself that I did.
So thats my question. The safe amount of time between cutting my doses. (2 weeks)
Thank you all for the responses. They are helpful and help me focus on my goal.

One more question, I am so glad that those of you that have successfuly tapered off sub and jumped, are still herre giving support and advise. I am however curious why you continue to help others and reply to posts. I would think once I am done with sub i would not want to have any thing to do with my old self. Maybe I will feel different once i am done with this long venture. Again thank you to everyone on here. it is a really positive environment and adds so much to the benefit and eases the struggle.
Sweet16


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PostPosted: Fri Oct 14, 2011 9:45 am 
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Hey again Sweet,

I think 2 weeks is a pretty average time between tapers. It sounds like you're doing great. Remember to listen to your body though, like Laddetipper said, you may hit a certain dose level and have to wait it out there for more than 2 weeks before you completely adjust to that dose. It happened to Ladder around the 1mg mark. She just rode it out and she was eventually able to continue lowering her dose and now she's completely off of Suboxone!!

You have a great attitude and that will serve you well.

I'm sorry to hear about your friendship ending, but by the sounds of it, it's gonna be a good thing in the end. Good for you for having the courage and the insight to do what you know you have to do. I'm kinda doing something similar right now and it is hard, but I also know it's necessary.....still sucks, though.

As to why I'm still here helping others out, I quit Suboxone from a fairly high dose and my wd's were pretty extreme[sup]2[/sup]. I didn't even find this forum until I was 4 months off of Suboxone, which means I went through my wd's, more or less, alone. I had my wife and my daughter with me, but they couldn't fathom WTH I was going through. Once I stumbled onto this forum and found others detoxing off of Suboxone and asking all the questions they were asking, I just had to pitch in and offer them some help and some hope. I remember how terribly lonely I felt during my wd and I didn't want anyone else to have to feel like that. Had my wd experience not been so extreme, I probably wouldn't be here?

Also, I receive a lot of help from members of this forum too. It's is CERTAINLY not all me giving, I do a lot of taking too.

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PostPosted: Fri Oct 14, 2011 10:04 am 
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sweet16 wrote:
@ hatmaker510- Wow! This suboxone stuff is so complex. So, am I considered to be on a dose that is under the "celing" of suboxone? What exactly does this mean? Does this mean that only some of my receptors are being activated by suboxone & then some are left empty? Will this cause craving? I wonder if I exercize would my endorphins fill the rest of those particular receptors up or do natural endorphins fill different recepters? And do the receptors ever get smaller or reduce in number? I hate to sound like a dummy, I am just curious if I am always going to have more opiate receptors than a person who has never done opiates?


When you're below the ceiling, not all of your receptors are saturated, you could feel the ups and downs when you take your dose. I believe (if I recall correctly), that yes, we addicts have more receptors than non-addicts. Once we quit, the extra receptors will "go away". Unfortunately, I'm not able to explain how that happens. The cravings are caused by not having the receptors filled constantly with opiates. This is why people on sub maintenance do better on a higher dose - to keep the receptors full at all times so the brain recognizes still having opiates in it.

And you asked about endorphins. When a person is tapering or has quit, doing things to release more of our natural endorphins is just what we need to "kick start" our brain into taking over things on its own, so to speak.

Unfortunately I don't have the medical and chemistry degrees that Junig has so I'm unable to give you a better answer. I hope this helps at least a little bit.

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 Post subject: 3rd day on 2.5. from 3,
PostPosted: Wed Oct 19, 2011 12:34 am 
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Shello all my forum friends,
I am curently on day 3 of being on 2.5 mg. (down from 3mg last week) Everything seems fine. Last night I DID notice a burning sensation radiating from my sacrum (lower back exactly in the middle) down thru my legs, after going to bed for the evening. it was a little alarming. I was wondering if it was the beginnings of RLS? I did take the max dose for advil yesterday and I fell asleep just fine. So for now I have had no sleep issues and other than 2 days of crying spells while tapering from 4-3, I have escaped most symptoms of wd. (or at least nothing really worth mentioning) I am doing quite well. I DO notice more of the old ME comming back around each time I taper. I am usually very ambitious and expressive, always very happy (sometimes overly) BUT since this opiate & now suboxone, that has all but disappeared. I feel it comming back, like I mentioned above and I can not be more pleased. I know I musnt be too confident, but I just really have not had too much trouble thus far. My appetite is ok. I eat mostly fruits and veggies. I juice daily, and eat no meat except seafood once or twice a month. I have been lazy and not excercizing or doing yoga much lately, (due to lack of enthusiasm) but tonight I did go for a quick bike ride with my son. So all is well, and I will keep noteing my progress each time I drop my dose. I send belssings to everyone here and wish success and happiness for all..and thanks for being a caring community of real people
-Sweet16


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Fond Du Lac Psychiatry
Dr. Jeffrey Junig, M.D., Ph.D.

  • Board Certified Psychiatrist
  • Asst Clinical Professor, Medical College of Wisconsin

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