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 Post subject: No Sub - Day 18
PostPosted: Tue Nov 23, 2010 5:57 pm 
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Romeo,

I happened to check in and saw your post. I am doing fine - thanks for asking. I'll go ahead and update while I'm here.

Basically I am just slugging it out with some lingering mild to moderate PAWS from my full agonist days. Hoping it won't last for 6 months to 2 years (or forever).

The path I've chosen with Sub seems to have been a helpful tool to detox from the full agonists and lighten the PAWS load a little. If you'll recall I tried rapid taper off of 50mgs of Norco and couldn't even make it 30 days after the jump. Here at day 18 off of Sub I feel orders of magnitude better than I did at 30 days off Norco. So even if this path ultimately doesn't work out, it is far better than anything I've tried before.

As for specific symptoms - the condition fluctuates even during the course of a day. I feel almost normal one hour and then crappy the next. But even the crappiness is mild and reasonably tolerable. So I continue to feel optimistic I can stick it out. Sleep is practically back to normal (got 8 hours last night!) and for me that counts for a lot.

Finally, I noticed a new section call "Sub in the Rearview Mirror." I don't think I qualify for that yet as I am still in recovery. Until I feel like I am past the PAWS and confident I won't go back on the Sub for a longer term stay, I think I belong in this thread. But I'll defer to the moderators.

I am going to try to enjoy my Thanksgiving holiday, focus on my family, and try not to think about PAWS. I hope everyone has a wonderful holiday. Perhaps I'll update again this weekend.


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PostPosted: Tue Nov 23, 2010 6:10 pm 
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Oh yeah and meant to add - my chronic pain. As you can see it is not top of mind which is good. But it is still there. That's the other onion in the ointment. Slugging it out with light PAWS while slugging it out with significant pain is not fun. But I'm using my tools to manage the pain and so far it is helping. For me, very slow jogging or long walks, baths/showers, Motrin on occasion, and biofeedback/meditation is helping a fair bit.


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PostPosted: Wed Nov 24, 2010 11:42 pm 
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Thanks for updating, I have been thinking about you. Keep up the good work, your doing great!!!!!

Happy Thanksgiving :D


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 Post subject: No Sub - Day 27
PostPosted: Thu Dec 02, 2010 3:55 pm 
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Hi all - just providing a quick post.

I am feeling about 85%. This week was better than last week which was better than the week before. I think I am measuring improvement by weeks, not days.

Basically I can feel absolutely normal one minute and then have a wave of light paws wash over me the next. It sticks around for 20-30 minutes (sometimes longer), then leaves. These waves seem to come less frequently and with less intensity each week.

I am at the point where I am now more focused on my chronic pain than the paws which is....good? The pain is the biggest bother at night as it wakes me up (and hurts a lot). But I have my techniques and I am sticking with em.

I'll check back in another week.


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PostPosted: Thu Dec 02, 2010 4:34 pm 
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Thanks for the update matt,

I've been wondering how you're getting along.

I'm glad you have found some ways to deal with your pain, you're pretty sharp...good job!


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PostPosted: Thu Dec 02, 2010 11:03 pm 
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I'm really glad to here from you I have been thinking about you and keeping you in my prayers. I hope you had a great Thanksgiving! Keep up the good work :D


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PostPosted: Fri Dec 03, 2010 6:05 am 
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I can defenately relate to the weekly cykle. I felt similar. It have become more steady now it seems though; after 30-35 days it seemed to switch to a more trigger based behaviour so to speak. Good thoughts are starting to get me a up feeling - but if i recall something stupid i did while being high or a conflict i had with somebody it seems to trigger stress hormones and adrenalin in abundences.
I would say that now - day 46( i believe) physical, i feel like 80-90% - the last procent` being my bad shape and lack of energy - stomach is almost normal.
Mentally i feel like i have to re-learn how to be social. Its kind of a rollercoaster. There are moments where you want to isolate yourself - for me its typical when i starts to speculate abouts other ppl`s thougths about me. But then a hour later you can suddenly enjoy yourself together with a friend or two- and you realise that being social as nonintoxicated actually - and im honest here, feels more rewarding then when being high. And you want more of it! I think thats a reason why meetings can be so good. Personally im starting to use a "club" we have in my hometown for former addicts, where ppl play music, pool, dart, make food for each others and arrange spa baths and yoga lessons:)
I could imagine the NA community are doing similar things in US. Maybe try one when you feel ready? Just listen if you dont like to share - thats what ppl say to me, because im scared shitless about spilling my guts for a dozen ppl i dont know - and then talk with ppl after the meeting.

Tons of good december thoughts from me:)


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PostPosted: Fri Dec 03, 2010 11:43 am 
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filur11,

Good to hear from you again and Congratulations on 46 days. I know what a struggle you have endured and I am so glad to hear you are doing so well.

So many of the 'symptoms' you mentioned are very similar to what happened to me. The rollercoaster in particular and the feeling of wanting to isolate...that's a dangerous one for me.

Your 'club' sure sounds cool. Playing music, darts and making food to eat, I love it.

Hang in there and keep remembering recovery is a process.


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PostPosted: Fri Dec 03, 2010 2:53 pm 
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Thanks to everyone for their nice thoughts (and prayers). filur - I am glad you're doing well and finding nice support. Between my supportive family, church, my doctor, and this board, I think I am getting all the support I need for now - so no to answer your question. But it is something I am keeping my mind open to if I need more. I hear you on the energy and being in shape. I stopped working out when I caught a cold a couple weeks back and have been working up the motivation to get back in the gym. I know how important that is. I have some social events coming up in the next few weeks, how I am handling it sounds like an interesting subject to report on. I'll remember that in my future posts.


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 Post subject: No Sub - Day 35
PostPosted: Fri Dec 10, 2010 12:51 pm 
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My weekly or so update.

First good news - I am feeling pretty decent overall. I actually had to go back and count to see that it was day 35 post Sub which I thought was a good sign. Doctor is on-board and pleased with my progress.

I believe I am now at the point where I can truly see what PAWS really is. I think that, as of my last post, I was conflating PAWS with lingering acute withdrawal and a spike in my pain. I think I am fully past acute withdrawal at this point, my pain level has settled into it's proper baseline, and I am truly experiencing light PAWS. I'll try to explain them:

1) Concentration. I can concentrate fine on one thing at a time. Multi-tasking comes up and it triggers 3 below

2) Stress. If something stressful comes up it triggers 3 below.

3) Either triggered or randomly occurring, I'll get a mix of mild physical symptoms such as slight chills, sweating, feeling like a low grade cold with sneeze fits, slight anxiety/short temper.

But it's really not that bad for me. And it is continually improving.

Till next post.


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PostPosted: Sun Dec 12, 2010 3:07 pm 
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Saw a nice post from Kinetix on how coffee triggers anxiety, sweats, PAWs. I totally agree. I meant to add this to my last post. I wake up feeling wonderful. Drink my morning coffee and low and behold I get jittery, anxious, and sweats/chills. I've reduced to half caf in the morning and that has helped a little (thought not totally). For me, hot chocolate is better. I've been switching to a low fat milk hot chocolate. But still this has a shot clock for my waste line. Just thought I would add that.


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 Post subject: No Sub - Day 42
PostPosted: Fri Dec 17, 2010 4:55 pm 
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I was going to wait longer to post, but wanted to note that i am feeling consistently well this week. The PAWS really seems to be fading. My concentration is back. Energy is back. Sleep is normal. Pain is being managed (though requires advil so I have to keep tabs on ulcers). Sure I am still getting occasional waves but clearly far fewer and less intense. Not saying it won't kick back up, and I am staying vigilant, and not waiving the victory flag yet, but I sure am feeling good right now and wanted to share it.

I'll probably hold off on posting again until the two month marker unless something changes.

Happy holidays.


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Fri Dec 17, 2010 6:42 pm 
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Thanks for the update Matt. I'm very glad to hear you're doing well.


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 Post subject: No Sub - Day 61
PostPosted: Wed Jan 05, 2011 11:14 am 
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Happy New Year to all.

So I had rough holiday week which ended with some helpful personal insight. Long story short - lots of family, lots of traveling around, sick family members, lots of drama. In other words, STRESS. Also with all the snow, I was doing lots of shoveling of lots of driveways and torqued my back up good (stupid on my part). Finally to make matters worse, because of the sick family members there were pain meds everywhere. A couple times since I stopped Sub I've been around pain meds without any issue. But this was a week plus around pain meds, with a badly hurting back, and stress galore.

I didn't take any pain meds. I'll get that out of the way now. But I sure wanted to. In fact I wanted to so much, I would say it ruined my holiday. And the PAWS started to kick back in while I was there. I've been home for three days and they are just now starting to fade back to pre-holiday levels as my mind has been back at work and focused on other things.

This whole event was frustrating as hell though insightful for me on some levels. First, I was feeling great and thinking the worst of the PAWS was clearly behind me....but then I let my guard down and bam. This was a stern warning for me that if I want to stick it out on this path it will be a bumpy road for a long time (perhaps forever) and I need to be prepared for that and accept it. Second, it really did help me understand my triggers a little better. Clearly the combination of high stress and high pain is a toxic combination for me. I have to really work at making sure I don't put myself in such a "perfect storm" situation again.

Finally, I've always heard how the holidays can be a stressful time and never understood that. But this experience sure drove that home for me. When you're a younger adult, the holidays are awesome. You get a break from work, you go "home" and catch up with old friends all in a festive atmosphere....but as you start to get older the picture changes. You have kids that require attention, exhausting travel, aging family members with health issues that require attention, increased work stress etc., and all the while you need to put on a happy face precisely because it's the holidays. They do a total 180. I was sad to see some other posts from members who have had similar struggles this holiday, but was also comforted to know that I wasn't the only one. It sure is nice to have this community around where we can read each others stories, learn, and grow from them.

I'll check back in at the 90 day mark unless there is something interesting to say sooner.

Matt


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PostPosted: Wed Jan 05, 2011 12:16 pm 
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Hey Matt,

I have certainly figured out that STRESS = WORSE PAWS too. It took me a while to really put the two together, but I finally did. I'm glad you figured it out sooner rather than later.

Congratulations on not giving into the temptations you were presented with over the holidays. Sometimes it's hard as hell to do, your mind wants to get "locked in" to rationalizing taking some pain meds and it can be extremely difficult to break it loose. Once you find that way to "break it loose" it becomes an awesome tool for further down the road.

Glad to hear from you again.


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 Post subject: Around 3 Months - No Sub
PostPosted: Wed Feb 02, 2011 6:05 pm 
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A quick update for everyone. I am now around the 3 month mark since my last dose of Sub.

Overall, everything is fine. I'm not having any cravings to use opiates (though my back is doing OK right now). I am living my life.

That said, I am still experiencing PAWS intermittently. Out of nowhere, my Central Nervous System kinda gets all revved up. I then have to try to calm it down and it takes a while. It happens at random and stress doesn't really seem to trigger it from what I can discern. My doctor said that when you become dependent on opiates it just takes a while for your brain's chemicals and CNS to come back into balance (PAWS is the brain healing itself he says) and that what I am experiencing sounds classic and normal (for my recovery approach). Of course he had no answer for how long it would last. But told me to hang in there a few more months and it should hopefully come around. He was encouraged by the lack of cravings and continues to feel my prognosis is good.

So this continues to be a little tough, but no problems hanging in there right now.

I cannot tell you how important exercise and biofeedback have been to helping with this. When I have an episode I take a time out. I go for a jog if I can. If I cannot do that I try to take 15 minutes and do a relaxation exercise. This helps a lot.

I'll post again around the 6 month marker but will check in on the board from time to time if there are questions and contribute to other threads.


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PostPosted: Wed Feb 02, 2011 6:51 pm 
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Hey matt,

Good to hear from you and thanks for the update.

Have you experienced any anger issues? I know somewhere around my 3 month mark, I started with some anger issues.

CNS getting revved up, eh. Me too. I had the shakes for a long time, mostly in my hands. I remember going through a couple of bout's of smelling weird smells that weren't there too. Sneezes still persist, but nothing like in the beginning.

I would have to say as of today, the CNS has returned about 90% - 95% normal? That's a hard one to gauge, but 90%-95% is somewhere in that ballpark.

I'm just going to reply here to your reply from my thread.

Physically, I feel very close to normal. I have lost some weight, I'm within 10 lbs of my ideal weight. I don't exercise per se, but I am active at work and I started eating normal food portions again. My motivation and physical energy have come back nicely, not exactly where I had hoped it would be, but then again I have to remember that I'm 43 years old. I'm not going to feel like a spring chicken.

As far as PAWS like effects, I have some minor sleep issues, nothing big though. Some of those hot/cold feelings too, but very, very mild and quite infrequent.

As far as the temptations, it was wanting to feel those old 'high' feelings. Instead of nipping it in the bud, I sat there and romanticized it, obsessed over it and almost got smacked hard because of it. One moment of weakness led to a pretty shitty path, but now I know to stay vigilant. Honestly, I got complacent. I thought I had this addiction stuff licked! NOT!

Stay strong has a whole new meaning for me now. It used to mean keep fighting through the wd's. Now it means don't let your guard down or that nasty dude addiction will getcha. Just when you think you've got him put to bed, WHAM, there he is.

The best possible advice I could give you is to never forget that your addiction is constantly working you! He is always looking for a weak spot! Don't fool yourself, he will get you if you let up, even if just for a second!!


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PostPosted: Wed Feb 02, 2011 9:59 pm 
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Good to se a update. Im having personal interest in following your progress since i quitted around same time.
Sorry to hear about the PAWS. Ive been dreading those myself, but so far there dosnt seems to have been any physical issues for around a month or so. Psykological there defenately is some aftermath though; especially a non existent motivation for doing something which dosnt instantly give me some kind of feedback( putting on music, a movie or a pc game). Laundry, cleaning up the apartment, getting a haircut seems to be tasks i have to force myself to do.

Overall i dont have any cravings either, except for one time where i was watching a movie where someone was using ( Winthers Bone) i somehow caught myself toying with the thought of snorting a little dope and it actually got a little to close to putting me in "what could happen" mode. Luckily the moment passed quickly. It tells me that i have to be extreemely carefull about toying with those thoughts.

@Romeo; wow 43? i thought maybe 10 years younger. You sound so young at heart ( 100% ment as a compliment :lol: ).

Big grtz to both of you for time marks btw:)


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