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PostPosted: Thu Dec 29, 2011 1:11 pm 
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Hello, everyone. I've been over four months off Suboxone, after tapering to between 1/8 and 1/16. I was nearly 6 years on Sub. In October, I had abdominal surgery and was on pain meds for about 1.5 weeks.

I'm now having some PAWS symptoms and have been on and off. It took me a while to understand that they were actually PAWS. I've read up on PAWS and they mostly address things like depression, inability to focus, etc. Maybe I have some of that, but my biggest issue now is the physical side. I'm still getting chills pretty much everyday. Some days are so minimal that I barely notice it. Other days are worse and I get other things, like cold hands, cold sweating, and a weird smell in my nose. This all seems worse in the mornings when I first wake up.

I firmly believe taking pain meds after that surgery set me back. I did not take an excessive amount or take them for an excessive length of time. However, my body reacted so intensely to them. I finally felt warm, for one. It felt like my system was recognizing something it had been missing and started throwing symptoms at me in between doses. So, I stopped them while still in moderate pain, because the whole thing really scared me. Right afterward, the chills, sneezing, anxiety returned for a while and gradually mellowed out to where it is now.

If you read online about PAWS, there is such a huge time frame, and that's where the mental game starts. I'd like to think I won't have chills & diarrhea for two years every time I eat too much sugar or dairy. How long do you guys think this physical stuff will last? Right now, I'm setting dates, like one month, two months, etc. and telling myself it will be gone by then. This keeps me positive.

I'm truly surprised I have any of this, considering I did taper so low. However, all the other mental things are not an issue right now. I'm thankful that it is all physical.

laddertipper

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 Post subject: PAWS
PostPosted: Thu Dec 29, 2011 1:27 pm 
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Hi LT,

I have no experience about how long it will last coming off of Sub, but from all the ex pain pill addicts I met at my AA meetings they all said to expect it to last a year. Wouldn't you think Sub would fall into that category?

Only someone with years behind them off Bup can really answer that one. And of course we are all a wee bit different too.

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PostPosted: Thu Dec 29, 2011 1:33 pm 
I've seen PAWS length cited as a range from 6-24 months.

We gotta pay to play, unfortunately.

This is one of the reasons I'm scared to get off..even when you do, you've got to deal with continuous withdrawal symptoms. Sucks.


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PostPosted: Thu Dec 29, 2011 1:49 pm 
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My friend who was on junk for 23 years and on sub for 2.5 years before he jumped off at .5 mg. He told me HIS PAWS lasted him 7 months. Hope it gives some insight. Sorry LT that you have to deal with this. On the bright side, you are OFF meds and not suffering intensely. Things will get better soon...


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PostPosted: Thu Dec 29, 2011 1:51 pm 
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My friend who was on junk for 23 years and on sub for 2.5 years before he jumped off at .5 mg. He told me HIS PAWS lasted him 7 months. Hope it gives some insight. Sorry LT that you have to deal with this. On the bright side, you are OFF meds and not suffering intensely. Things will get better soon...


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PostPosted: Thu Dec 29, 2011 1:57 pm 
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Hi Laddertipper'. it's Johnboy again. ladder" i think every one going through as many meds' subs or not".
in our life many things can be happening to us? your mood levels still could be out of wack a little?
have you checked with your doctor? maybe your serotonin levels are still low? your natural endorphin
is 4 times stronger than morphine. i believe there is meds out there that can nip this problem in the but.
ask your doctor about serotonin and neurotransmitter medication". i have had the symtems of PAWS most of my life.
and strongly believe these meds i take work for me. and i still think it does not matter what and how any body took drugs/ alcohol" . if the medication brings your levels back up? then i know, you will feel much better :) just think we fucked with our
minds a long time" and it will take "medication" only for are minds and brain to work better.


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PostPosted: Thu Dec 29, 2011 4:52 pm 
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Ladder, I remember when you first started your sub taper. It was like you psyched yourself out, remember? Try to take care not to do that again, because the worst you expect it to be, generally the worse it will become. I've come across people who never heard of PAWS and never anticipated it and therefore had few noticeable, life-interfering problems with it. I think this goes to show again just how much of it is mental. But you know all this Ladder.....

OK, so if it were me, the first thing I'd do is stop reading about PAWS and stop talking about PAWS. I'd do everything to put PAWS out of my head. The more you think about it the more you will perseverate on it and the worse you will feel - at least that's what I believe. (But I'm saying this because of the kind of person I am. I don't know if that's something that you'll need/want to do or not.)

With all that said, I wish one of us could give you a concise answer to your question. I can tell you this though, I do recall members coming back to check in over the last couple of years and I've read of people who were done with PAWS in less than 6 months.

Just try not to freak yourself out or set up some self-fulfilling prophecy, because you might be just fine in 6 weeks from now! But if you're freaking out about PAWS, you may not even notice it!

(Sorry guys, I had no sleep last night - I hope I'm making some kind of sense.)

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PostPosted: Fri Dec 30, 2011 12:23 am 
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Hey LT, looking back, I now realize I had three distinct phases of PAWS. My heavy PAWS ended at day 118 (phase 1), the next phase ended right around 9.5 months and this last phase ended when I started working out....around 1 year and 3 months.

The first phase, my PAWS were very noticeable. I was extremely irritable (aka RAGE), lots and lots of stomach issues, craptacular sleep, motivation was less than zero, etc.

The second phase consisted of greatly decreased irritability, stomach calmed down some, sleep improved some, motivation started coming back. From day 118 to 9.5 months, these things improved slowly, almost imperceptibly, but they did improve.

From 9.5 months to the 1 year and 3 month mark, I basically thought I was pretty much back to normal. But once I started working out it really hit me how far off "normal" I still was because of the improvements working out brought to me. It's kinda hard to explain.....I guess before I started working out I had pretty much accepted that that was as good as I was gonna get and I made peace with it, then BAM, I started lifting and I was like "Holy Freakin' Crap, this is awesome!!"

I have no idea if your PAWS will proceed anything like mine did, but I do believe, 100%, that you will continue to improve as time goes by.

BTW, I still, to this day, have trouble with my "internal thermostat", except mine seems to be set on high instead of low like yours. I get hot and sweat more than I should, but even it's a helluva lot better than it used to be.

Keep the faith dude, it should continue to get better and better......it just takes FOR-FREAKIN'-EVER for some of us!!

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PostPosted: Fri Dec 30, 2011 2:26 am 
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hatmaker'. you sure made a lot of scents for ladder' i'm the one who could not be making scents :lol:
maybe i don't like the i'deer of seeing this and tapering off subs. i don't want to go through PAWS.
but then the way ladder is doing" it's not that bad after all" right Romeo?


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PostPosted: Fri Dec 30, 2011 9:14 am 
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Hey johnboy, Ladder's PAWS are certainly not as bad as my PAWS were, so yes, her way (tapering) has allowed her to escape Acute WD AND the bitch slappin' portion of intense PAWS that I went through.

The one thing that always sticks with me about Ladder's taper is the fact that she continually adjusted her time frame for getting off of Suboxone, instead of forcing herself to endure a hellacious situation like jumping from a high dose, she would taper a little bit, she would stabilize, she would listen to her body and when she felt ready to move on.....she did it all over again.

Johnboy, if you ever do decide to taper off of Suboxone, take LT's advice and go slowly. There is no rush. I've been on this forum for a long while now and the best means for getting off of Suboxone is a slow, methodical taper.

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 Post subject: paws
PostPosted: Fri Dec 30, 2011 9:56 am 
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just when i think I've heard everything or know it all, I find out I'm mildly informed at best. The longest I've been abstinence- based clean (not even a benedryl) was 6-7? months from a drop of 120mg / methadone. 7 months was all I could take...I said I'd rather be a junky than live the rest of my life this way...Or feeling as I did BTW, this was only my experience and I'm not as strong and posititve as some of you. I had used for YEARS too. everyday, all day. But, I'm also bi-polar and the depression hit me hard man. It was bad. I could fuction better before because the depression alone. but I soon took a ms-contin a guy at work gave me; I quit my job went home and bought dope. That was the end of the 7 months. Look at thefix.com (great site), they have a big article running now about recovering addicts and exercise- really interesting.....


QUESTION: Do or did anyone exercise regularly on a large dose of bupe/ done? I tend to get sick exercizing on done ..very nausea


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PostPosted: Fri Dec 30, 2011 12:46 pm 
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Thanks for the replies, everyone.

The ironic thing is that I did not really believe in PAWS, because you supposedly get it when you quit drinking, yet I never did. I felt great very soon after quitting drinking. On top of that, since I tapered so low, I really expected to avoid it completely.

I really hesitate in even posting about it, because it IS mild in comparison to the symptoms I had during tapering. I don' want to discourage or scare anyone. I promise you guys that it's nothing all that bad. It does annoy me, because it's most obvious when I wake up. I have to get up, but I have these background chills and my stomach is messed up, and I have a very low anxiety that is just enough that I always wake up super early. I know this will go away. It would be great to have a date in mind, but every single day is at least that much closer. For whatever reason, I'm not struggling with depression, which seems to be everyone's main symptom of PAWS.

It will be okay. I fully expected to not have this, but I do and it's just one more little hurdle to get past.

Eating sugar is terrible for PAWS, FYI. If you eat a bunch before bed, the next morning is rough. Same thing with lots of dairy. Same thing with cough medicine. It all irritates my system and the symptoms come together. It's better to just cough and not eat for a few hours before bed.

LT

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PostPosted: Fri Dec 30, 2011 2:27 pm 
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Hey again, Ladder. I'm really glad it's not all that bad for you.

I was trying to find some "natural" things that also might help PAWS symptoms and I came across this page - http://whatmesober.com/personal-writing ... very/paws/ .

You might have read this or something quite similar, but I thought I'd pass it on anyway (for others that may not have read it). It also mentions diet including what you said about the sugar and other things such as meditation and exercise, to name just a couple.

It's not a site I frequent (in fact it seems to be 12-step based and you know how I feel about most of their ideas), but I believe what they are offering has value. Our bodies were being fed powerful opiates for in some cases over dozens of years. Now they are on their own, so it's the perfect time to get serious about giving our bodies exactly what they need to be running at maximum efficiency. This is why it's so important during this time to take the best care of oneself as possible - physically, emotionally, and mentally (and for some, perhaps spiritually as well).

I know you know all this, Ladder, but again, this is mostly for the benefit of others who might be reading this who haven't yet tapered off suboxone.

Maybe there's something on that site that can help you as well, ladder. I hope so. Keep your chin up - which it sounds like you're already doing.

Honestly, woman, I think you're doing really well. Keep up the good work. The work you've done on your taper has been very helpful to many people around here. I'm glad you've shared it all with us.

Take care.

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PostPosted: Fri Dec 30, 2011 7:00 pm 
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ladder'. did you start suboxone after you quit drinking? in that case ". the suboxone would have stop't the alcoholic paws.
i quit drinking with out subs" and went through 2 years of horrible paws!!

romeo". thank you" i would try ladders way any day!! but i am one off you" and i would much rather jump than make a smooth
landing :lol: i'm not mind stable enough to do this 6 months to a year slow tapper. if i could do what ladder did'.
then my thinking would have to be on the right track every day for the next year or so.

indigo'. i think i'm a little where your at. i also might have some bi-polar? but one doc say's i do and one doc say's i don't :lol:
having bi-polar sucks in a way being on suboxone, because your mood change is unstable" and one would think there not a drug addict" and stop suboxone at any giving day depending on where there mind is set. i'm not saying there crazy". but it's sorta like why some of us can't do a slow tapper.

hatmaker". your right about it is mostly in the mind". but it won't work well at all for the bi-polar. i guess unless it is carefully treated.


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PostPosted: Sat Dec 31, 2011 8:17 pm 
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johnboy wrote:

romeo". thank you" i would try ladders way any day!! but i am one off you" and i would much rather jump than make a smooth
landing :lol: i'm not mind stable enough to do this 6 months to a year slow tapper. if i could do what ladder did'.
then my thinking would have to be on the right track every day for the next year or so.

indigo'. i think i'm a little where your at. i also might have some bi-polar? but one doc say's i do and one doc say's i don't :lol:
having bi-polar sucks in a way being on suboxone, because your mood change is unstable" and one would think there not a drug addict" and stop suboxone at any giving day depending on where there mind is set.


I could never do ladders way either...I'd just want to jump and take it up the rear :roll: Oh, I KNOW I'm an addict. no question there


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PostPosted: Sun Jan 01, 2012 1:59 pm 
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johnboy wrote:
ladder'. did you start suboxone after you quit drinking? in that case ". the suboxone would have stop't the alcoholic paws.
i quit drinking with out subs" and went through 2 years of horrible paws!!

romeo". thank you" i would try ladders way any day!! but i am one off you" and i would much rather jump than make a smooth
landing :lol: i'm not mind stable enough to do this 6 months to a year slow tapper. if i could do what ladder did'.
then my thinking would have to be on the right track every day for the next year or so.

indigo'. i think i'm a little where your at. i also might have some bi-polar? but one doc say's i do and one doc say's i don't :lol:
having bi-polar sucks in a way being on suboxone, because your mood change is unstable" and one would think there not a drug addict" and stop suboxone at any giving day depending on where there mind is set. i'm not saying there crazy". but it's sorta like why some of us can't do a slow tapper.

hatmaker". your right about it is mostly in the mind". but it won't work well at all for the bi-polar. i guess unless it is carefully treated.


That's interesting about the Sub stopping alcoholic PAWS. I didn't know it worked like that. However, in the year and a half before starting Sub, I only drank a handful of days. I would go a bunch of months, relapse, go into the hospital immediately to stop it, repeat. Looking back on that time, I can see I didn't fully understand how a stressful situation could trigger that compulsion to drown it out. I never noticed any physical symptoms like I have now when I was in my clean months in between relapses. I remember being tired and sleeping a lot, which felt so good. Maybe I had some mental stuff, but I didn't have the chills and morning anxiety like I do now. This is a totally different experience.

If I was tough enough to just jump and stick with it, I would have done that. I tried several times and made it as long as a week, but when it didn't stop, I'd cave and go back onto Sub. So, tapering was certainly not my first choice. I'm no different than anyone else. If there's a shortcut, I'm in.

laddertipper

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PostPosted: Sun Jan 01, 2012 7:09 pm 
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indigo" i no your a drug addict too!
ladder". maybe it's going to take a little more time? like romeo said" we been through a lot and it's going to take a lot to get much better. but i still believe if you talked to your doc about a right med for you? it would work much faster? and of course this is going to be a total different experience" it may have nothing to do with the alcohol this time. but also saying once an alcoholic allways an alcoholic. like dr.junig and my doc said every one can be treated for paws with anti-depress- and others". if you get the right med? it will work faster for you. but then every one say's i don't want to depend on any more meds. well ". meds is what got us here in the first place" and i hate to say we may still need them. i have also had worse experience in a way" with the drug world. and either wait it out? or find the right meds to also help the current problem. sorry it sounds a little confusing :)


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PostPosted: Mon Jan 02, 2012 1:16 pm 
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johnboy wrote:
indigo" i no your a drug addict too!
ladder". maybe it's going to take a little more time? like romeo said" we been through a lot and it's going to take a lot to get much better. but i still believe if you talked to your doc about a right med for you? it would work much faster? and of course this is going to be a total different experience" it may have nothing to do with the alcohol this time. but also saying once an alcoholic allways an alcoholic. like dr.junig and my doc said every one can be treated for paws with anti-depress- and others". if you get the right med? it will work faster for you. but then every one say's i don't want to depend on any more meds. well ". meds is what got us here in the first place" and i hate to say we may still need them. i have also had worse experience in a way" with the drug world. and either wait it out? or find the right meds to also help the current problem. sorry it sounds a little confusing :)


Of course, I am reluctant to start another drug to get over Suboxone. I would consider it if I thought it was going to make a big difference. I'm not understanding though. Are there drugs to combat PAWS symptoms? For example, would an antidepressant help with the physical symptoms I'm having? I though the antidepressants were indicated for people who have depression during PAWS. Maybe I'm wrong.

laddertipper

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PostPosted: Mon Jan 02, 2012 2:10 pm 
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i'm not sure about helping all the paws? but i was told meds can help the anxi- and depress-.


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PostPosted: Mon Jan 02, 2012 2:31 pm 
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johnboy wrote:
i'm not sure about helping all the paws? but i was told meds can help the anxi- and depress-.


Well, I would consider taking something to help this. I just have so much fear. It seems to me like you always have to pay the piper, even with an antidepressant. I'm so leery, because I don't want to have to taper off something else or take something to feel better if it's only putting a band-aid on it and not really moving it along faster. Does that make sense?

I can feel a little of these things every morning, but the severity increases and decreases so much, which is what is getting to me. I was thinking it was going away, but now I see that was just a decrease. Now, I'm inside an increase. Therefore, whatever I'm writing is a reflection of being frustrated at feeling set back. I AM frustrated lately. Then, I tell myself it's all about today and getting one day closer to being through whatever this crap is. There's not much online about prolonged physical symptoms from stopping Sub or any other opiate. Mostly, it's about lack of motivation and low energy or depression. For me, this is very physical and the first thought I have in the morning, before I'm really even awake, is "sweats....chills....again? Yuck..." I'm starting to work with a trainer this week at 4:45 a.m. Gonna be super rough to get out and work out hard that early, but it'll probably be a great thing to do.

If anyone knows anything about or has experience with prolonged physical PAWS symptoms, I would love to hear it!!!

laddertipper

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