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PostPosted: Sun Mar 25, 2012 4:46 pm 
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Hi to all my fellow sub people. It seems that we all belong to a club that maybe some of us didn't realize what it meant to join!
At first I wrote a 2000 word introduction which I realized would be of probably no interest besides me! The Readers Digest version is that I was clean and sober for 7 years, then started down a slippery slope to full blown relapse over a period of 4 years. Over that course I became habituated to Benzos, addicted to alcohol (again) and addicted to Vicodin. After a very dramatic intervention from my adult children and hubby, I shipped myself off to treatment. Cold turkeying it was the most terrifying and awful experience ever. I moved to a second treatment center after hospital detox. The second place started me on Suboxone. I had no idea what it was and assumed with the help of a new Sub doc at home, I could "just quit" when I was ready to. Looking back now, I think I had a pretty severe reaction to the first few Sub doses, vomiting my brains out. I ended up needing an IV because of all the fluid loss. The hospital doc told me it was still withdrawal from the substances I had gotten off of (day 6 by this time). He gave me a choice on whether to stay on the Subs or not when I left that treatment Center. In my ignorance, I said "yes"to staying on them, a decision I have come to regret many times since..:/
Well, here I sit 19 months later and I want off this stuff! I am tired of being a slave to a tiny orange pill, sick of being scared when I travel that I will lose the subs, or the heat from being in my bags will hurt them, fussing over refills, having to get refills before I run out because I am scared of withdrawal. I have developed severe Carpal Tunnel Syndrome since being on this drug. They say I need surgery on both my hands at this point. I can't help but think it is the Subs. I do not feel like myself anymore. My family says I have been a way more hyper/ neurotic person in the past year and a half. Have the Subs kept me from craving? Probably, who knows? But I feel it is time... My psychiatrist says since I am on such a low does (2 mg per day), that any withdrawal I would have stopping at this point would be psychological. In the same breath she tells me when I am ready to quit altogether, she will write me a prescription (Robaxin) for muscle aches and Clonidine for w/d symptoms. So I hear conflicting info from her. She is however willing to work with me on weaning if that is what I want to do.
My current plan is to start weaning (I am now at 1.4 mgs/day). I do split it in 2 daily doses even tho Dr. J (on this site) says on his tapes and info that this is not a good idea. I have taken a crumb or 2 for "rescue doses". I plan to keep going down slowly and lowering the dose after I feel good consistently for a few days. When i get low enough to stop, i will. My Sub doc says she doesn't have many clients who can wean down at 2 mgs. and it is better to just stop talking it at the 2 mg/day.
I feel confused (is this really a psychological process even though I feel withdrawal??), angry, lonely and fearful that I will never see this through. I have been lurking on this site and others and it is a big bad scary world out there of folks who have been through hell and back getting off the Subs. I feel really terrified by this as my last detox was such a nightmare.
Anyway, I hope to stay connected to this Forum throughout my process and keep writing so as not to feel even more crazy about this Sub thing than I do already!


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PostPosted: Sun Mar 25, 2012 7:13 pm 
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Hi Bettyboop,

Welcome to the sub forum! If you are trying to stop taking subs then you need to make sure that you taper nice and slow.I have been tapering myself and it has took me almost 3 months to go from 2mg to 125mcg so far. Just so you know how little 125mcg is one milligram of sub has 1000mcg in it. It takes a lot of hard work to taper but if you are determined you can do it. Jumping off of 2mg of sub will probably be pretty painful so I would try to taper down as far as I can.

Courtney :)


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 Post subject: no fear
PostPosted: Sun Mar 25, 2012 9:22 pm 
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Hello Bettyboop,

I doubt very much w/d from sub attracts the same hell as benzo/alcohol/vicoden detox, if you read around you'll see people here who have jumped high have actually been able to go to work while in w/d. It'd be tough for sure, but what I know from severe w/d, there is no way on earth, you'd be working. Detox in your time, don't rush it. I'm at 1.4 too, and in minor w/d everyday before dosing and it's not just psychological. You've really done a great job since rehab.
I think sub is a brilliant recovery tool, that gives you the time and space to deal with addiction on a neutral level, so you can gradually change the thought patterns, that leads to trouble.
Anyway glad your here.


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PostPosted: Mon Mar 26, 2012 1:17 am 
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Bettyboop wrote:
My psychiatrist says since I am on such a low does (2 mg per day), that any withdrawal I would have stopping at this point would be psychological. In the same breath she tells me when I am ready to quit altogether, she will write me a prescription (Robaxin) for muscle aches and Clonidine for w/d symptoms. So I hear conflicting info from her. She is however willing to work with me on weaning if that is what I want to do.
My current plan is to start weaning (I am now at 1.4 mgs/day). I do split it in 2 daily doses even tho Dr. J (on this site) says on his tapes and info that this is not a good idea. I have taken a crumb or 2 for "rescue doses". I plan to keep going down slowly and lowering the dose after I feel good consistently for a few days. When i get low enough to stop, i will. My Sub doc says she doesn't have many clients who can wean down at 2 mgs. and it is better to just stop talking it at the 2 mg/day.
I feel confused (is this really a psychological process even though I feel withdrawal??), angry, lonely and fearful that I will never see this through. I have been lurking on this site and others and it is a big bad scary world out there of folks who have been through hell and back getting off the Subs. I feel really terrified by this as my last detox was such a nightmare.
Anyway, I hope to stay connected to this Forum throughout my process and keep writing so as not to feel even more crazy about this Sub thing than I do already!


Bettyboop, this 'conflicting information' you're getting stems from the fact that many doctors know very little about reducing off Suboxone! It's really quite a let down when I hear some of the thing people's doctors have said. "You'll be fine jumping off 1mg" is a big one!

As a moderator of this board, I'm apprehensive about any suggestion that your doctor shouldn't be a final authority. But i will say that many people on this board know more about tapering than many doctors!

I'd suggest you taper very low. The lower the better. Under 0.1mg would be ideal. And take your time! I'd aim to stretch it out over 6 months.


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PostPosted: Mon Mar 26, 2012 5:51 am 
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In defense of suboxone (coming from someone who's been on it for over 4 years now), there's nothing really to cause Suboxone to bring on carpal tunnel syndrome..that takes YEARS to form (carpal tunnel is caused by repetitive motion in the hands, like working an assembly line or holding something for extremely long periods of time -- this causes the "tunnel" in the wrist that all the nerves pass through to become inflamed and swell, which in turn causes the numb, tingling effect that is felt. I spent 4+ years welding odysseys/pilots for honda in a zone where robots couldn't get to make the welds..we HAD to do these 150+ welds by hand...and I spent a LOT of time in the "Mig Booth" where the actual welding was done...so I was welding almost daily and began to have the symptoms of carpal tunnel after 4 years. This was YEARS before I ever even heard of Suboxone..and in fact, it was just before I started my active addiction and lost that job due to absence and chasing pills).

I can understand your reasons for wanting to stop...but you also have to keep in mind that your problems that you're just now starting to notice have most likely been present in the past, and you probably didn't pay any attention to the symptoms that were present. Lots of people get on Suboxone, and suddenly they notice things they never noticed before (mostly because they are "clean"), so they think the Suboxone is the root cause of it all, when in all actuality, being so high for so long is the root cause, and they've been masking the symptoms or unable to tell they even had any symptoms of anything..

It's easy to forget the hell we put ourselves through when we were addicts, because over time that lifestyle becomes more and more of the past as we get further away from living that way...but I know when I was active in my addiction, I even let basic human hygiene go (and I mean showers and such) for a couple of days, because I didn't want to slow down long enough to take care of myself. I have lots of issues with my teeth, but I can't blame the Suboxone with that because I know what I did a few years ago is what has caused me those problems I'm facing now.


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 Post subject: Thanks to everyone!
PostPosted: Tue Mar 27, 2012 8:44 am 
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I really appreciate your responses to me! I hear you on the gradual weaning. I am on Day 3 at 1.4 mg. and feeling pretty good. Courtney-are you weaning using the liquid taper?

Jonathon-Thanks also for the Carpal Tunnel info. I know it doesnt typically develop overnight in both wrists, although it did develop quite suddenly on me on both arms last December. I'm a cyclist and maybe it all finally took its toll? The doctor said also maybe a virus last November kicked it up? I forgot to mention I also lost 20 lbs for no apparent reason at that time. The weight is coming back and they found nothing on me that was physical. You are right, my addiction could have very well been hiding my Carpall Tunnel pain, no doubt! Right now I get steroid injections in my wrists every 3 months or so, doc will not do anymore on me because of possible damage to my wrists-he wants me to do surgery. I am in a lot of pain and numbness in both arms right now. Trying to find a doc who will do the steroids shots at least until the subs get out of my system...I certainly do not want to go through days of post surgical pain because I am on the Subs.I HATE the idea of surgery on both my wrists!

I am hopeful as this is the lowest dose I have been on to date(1.4 mg for 3 days). Having the 2 mg. pills really helps.
I am so frustrated with my Sub doc. I walk away from her office thinking She is so smart, what is wrong with me? that I can't seem to just put these things down at 2 mgs.? If it is truly psychological then all the sweating, creepy crawlies, stomach upset, lack of sleep is just in my head? Wow! I lose respect for her every time I see or talk to her. she is on maternity leave until the end of May, maybe a blessing in disguise. I will continue to wean slowly until I see her then and see what happens..
Will try and update here as much as possible..you are all amazing!


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 Post subject: Re: Thanks to everyone!
PostPosted: Tue Mar 27, 2012 9:32 am 
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Bettyboop wrote:
I really appreciate your responses to me! I hear you on the gradual weaning. I am on Day 3 at 1.4 mg. and feeling pretty good. Courtney-are you weaning using the liquid taper?

Jonathon-Thanks also for the Carpal Tunnel info. I know it doesnt typically develop overnight in both wrists, although it did develop quite suddenly on me on both arms last December. I'm a cyclist and maybe it all finally took its toll? The doctor said also maybe a virus last November kicked it up? I forgot to mention I also lost 20 lbs for no apparent reason at that time. The weight is coming back and they found nothing on me that was physical. You are right, my addiction could have very well been hiding my Carpall Tunnel pain, no doubt! Right now I get steroid injections in my wrists every 3 months or so, doc will not do anymore on me because of possible damage to my wrists-he wants me to do surgery. I am in a lot of pain and numbness in both arms right now. Trying to find a doc who will do the steroids shots at least until the subs get out of my system...I certainly do not want to go through days of post surgical pain because I am on the Subs.I HATE the idea of surgery on both my wrists!

I am hopeful as this is the lowest dose I have been on to date(1.4 mg for 3 days). Having the 2 mg. pills really helps.
I am so frustrated with my Sub doc. I walk away from her office thinking She is so smart, what is wrong with me? that I can't seem to just put these things down at 2 mgs.? If it is truly psychological then all the sweating, creepy crawlies, stomach upset, lack of sleep is just in my head? Wow! I lose respect for her every time I see or talk to her. she is on maternity leave until the end of May, maybe a blessing in disguise. I will continue to wean slowly until I see her then and see what happens..
Will try and update here as much as possible..you are all amazing!



One thing you have to keep in mind, you know for a fact that you're going to have surgery on your wrists..and you know there will come the point where you need pain medication for the surgical procedures...so you might want to weigh out staying on Suboxone and using it to alleviate your pain (use Suboxone for pain management) instead of using opiates that the surgeon will prescribe. Suboxone works GREAT for pain management depending on how you use it..it just takes using Suboxone in a different manner - or using a different way of dosing. And to me, Suboxone works better than painkillers because you don't get that "zombie effect" and you can still function normally. I've used it for all of my extractions in the past 3 years..and other arthritis-related pain from a knee injury (that particular one is going to be chronic..I'll forever have problems because the cartilage in my knee is slowly deteriorating)...

You don't want to have all of this work into Suboxone, then quit Suboxone..have surgery...go back on painkillers, then have to do this ALL OVER AGAIN...do you? I would think that's not something anyone would wish to endure if they had a choice in the matter. It takes just finding a doctor to work with you through it all.


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 Post subject: Still resolved to wean..
PostPosted: Thu Mar 29, 2012 10:11 am 
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Hi Jonathon et al..I hear what you are saying but I can barely tolerate 3mgs..I start to get extremely anxious, nervous, irritable even on that dose...it did absolutely nothing for my CTS. Any higher doses of subs and I think my family would disown me! My sub doc (she has been misinforming me at times) said subs do not help with pain relief?
So I think I will continue the weaning process to go the surgery route with full disclosure to the surgeon.
I am trying to decide how many days to stay on 1.4 mg..some people say until you string 4 days together without "rescue doses", some say every 1-2 weeks. I was feeling so bad 2 nights ago, a creepy crawly uneasiness that only people here will understand. I took maybe a.5 extra dose. Yesterday I took my normal 1.4 mgs. again. Am planning on waiting until I string the 4 days together again at that dose.
I am wondering do folks take the Clonidine while feeling those withdrawal symptoms in the weaning process? I have a prescription, I took a few in treatment but can't remember if they helped or not, I think not. But maybe during the wean it would help rather than taking the "rescue sub?"
In general I feel calmer, I am sleeping, only a bit of the anxiety I have experienced on subs.
I still feel positive I will get off these "little orange gods"..lol..


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PostPosted: Thu Mar 29, 2012 10:56 am 
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Clonidine for me didn't do much but take a slight edge off. It's far from miracle relief.

It sounds like you don't have much trust in your doctor. Is finding another doctor at all possible? It's really important that you have trust in the care you are receiving.

Quote:
I doubt very much w/d from sub attracts the same hell as benzo/alcohol/vicoden detox, if you read around you'll see people here who have jumped high have actually been able to go to work while in w/d. It'd be tough for sure, but what I know from severe w/d, there is no way on earth, you'd be working.


I know many people, myself included, who have gone to work while going through heroin withdrawal. I've jumped off a high dose of buprenorphine once and it was up there with the worst detoxes I'd done. No exaggeration. I guess it depends on the person, and how lucky they are with the unpredictability of bupe withdrawal.

Personally I approach withdrawal from buprenorphine and methadone with more caution than withdrawal from morphine / heroin.


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 Post subject: depends
PostPosted: Thu Mar 29, 2012 9:37 pm 
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Falling off the Chang Mi express ain't the same as manning up from a street habit. Haven't touched a street drug for 20 yrs, but as far as I know the padded cells and chains in rehab are reserved for those addicts who can not control their movements or thoughts when detoxing. Bup detox is not regarded as being that severe. I've had the big jump off methadone too, no fun at all.


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PostPosted: Fri Mar 30, 2012 4:46 am 
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Bettyboop wrote:
My sub doc (she has been misinforming me at times) said subs do not help with pain relief?


You're doctor is UTTERLY wrong in this. Did you not see where I said that I had used ONLY Suboxone for tooth extractions during the past 3 years?

I went a month ago and had FIVE TEETH snatched out of my head..and I only took Suboxone for the pain.
So yeah..Your doc needs to do some research on HOW suboxone can be used for pain.

And I didn't have to take 5 or 6 Suboxone a day to get that pain relief. I barely moved up my dosage from what I normally take on a regular day...so it was hardly anything to take some extra for the 2 or 3 days that I needed extra Suboxone...it was barely enough to call it "extra dosing"...
My doctor is on-track with me about the extractions and has gave me the green light to use Suboxone for my extractions/pain management...because he DOES know a good bit about Sub as pain management.


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 Post subject: Finally down to 1.4 mgs.
PostPosted: Mon Apr 02, 2012 9:33 am 
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Good morning!
I am finally able to string together 3 days of 1.4 mgs without using the "rescue dose" for withdrawal. I feel better already, more like "me". I was at 3 mgs for a year in December 2011. I went on a trip for several weeks and while being in a foreign atmosphere was able to get to 2 mgs. The drop from 2 to 1.4 has been challenging at times, but doable so far. I guess I am determined to prove my doctor wrong! :)
I ran a race yesterday and felt fantastic. I am an avid athlete, even in the midst of my addictions I tried racing. It was not so great! Eventually, sports took a back seat to my ever growing relapse into oblivion. I look forward to being back to my old self, strong and positive and drug free!
I do like my sub doc even though I believe she is mis-informed. Dr. Junig also mentions on his tapes that much of the withdrawal is psychological-probably correct in some way. Psychological symptoms or not, the withdrawal feelings and body sensations are real. I am still very resolved in getting off this drug. I read your stories and have hope!
Happy Monday!


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PostPosted: Mon Apr 02, 2012 9:54 am 
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Congrats Betty. Really glad to hear it worked out for you.

Til next drop ... !


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 Post subject: Still coming down..
PostPosted: Thu Apr 05, 2012 9:23 am 
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Today I am dropping to 1.3 mgs. I haven't had any signifigant withdrawal except hot flashes at times. Last night I was unable to fall asleep. I took an Ambien and out I went. The CTS still is waking me up several times a night but I am able to fall asleep again until the wee hours of the morning. Lack of sleep will not kill me, I am trying to roll with those punches. Part of me wants to just stop the subs from here. I am sick of thinking about it, worrying if I am taking the right dose, fearing "D-Day". I am thinking of switching to the liquid taper. The only problem is I have chunked up the pills so much I am unsure of what dose is what for many of them. Guess I will eyeball them and do as best I can. I still have a few 8mg tabs but the doc prescribed me 2 mg. pills and I have been using them for a good month now.
I have stayed active everyday-bike, run and/or Yoga.
I am having some crazy-ass dreams that is for sure!


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 Post subject: Mad at self..
PostPosted: Fri Apr 06, 2012 11:01 am 
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Last night I could not sleep. I was flopping around like a fish, I had anxiety about not sleeping..so ended up taking a "rescue dose" of probably .5 or more Subs. This morning I am jittery, feel guilty,. I can't understand why I am so weak willed at night. Took extra Ambien also. I need to learn to conquer this whole fear of losing sleep thing. We are retired so no reason I need sleep. It is one of my issues. The whole relapse began with me taking meds to sleep then taking more,, then earlier, then drinking and finally addiction to Vicodin. I am scared.
The only answer is probably getting a refill on the 2 mg. subs and dosing in a more precise way. I can get the refill in 5 days. Will start the liquid tapering method. Does Suboxone dissolve in just water? I have a history of alcohol abuse so do not want to dissolve it in vodka or something. Can't do it if Subs don't dissolve in water alone.

Some may say, why go off of Subs? I am resolved because it has changed my personality, and not in a good way. I feel jittery on the stuff sometimes. Like I have drunk 5 cups of coffee.My adult daughter was on Subs for a year after being addicted to Norco stemming from Shingles. She successfully jumped at 2mgs. She struggled for 2 weeks. I gain a lot of strength from her. She, for one, did not look on any Sub Forums-she said they freaked her out. So she is one, who got off of them successfully and did not post anywhere. My theory is that lots of folks who do get off Suboxone do not write in these forums. For me, I am writing this as much for me as everyone else's.

Kudos to all those have stopped taking the little orange pill and your courage to post on here what it is like. Those in the process of withdrawal. It makes me feel less alone. :?


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PostPosted: Fri Apr 06, 2012 1:59 pm 
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Hi BettyBoop,

I have said this before but I have to say it again to you. I love reading about people like you who are fighting through this addiction, fighting through the painful tapering process, determined to make it through and live completely clean. I know you can do it, and in the mean time you are motivating me to prepare for the day when I will begin this process myself. I just wanted to let you know that what you are doing is helping people right now. Stay strong, keep us posted on how you are doing. I hope that the rest of your taper goes smoothly and when you jump you will be free of any problems. That is what I want for myself anyway, it never hurts to keep a positive attitude. :lol:


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 Post subject: Tapering
PostPosted: Fri Apr 06, 2012 2:15 pm 
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Betty,

You appear to be on the right path and from here on it it'll be mostly your brain that will be the enemy. Keep on boosting up your reserve strength and when the day comes you will see this through!

Have you considered trying the film? It comes in 2mg strips and is very easy to fold, cut, and get a precise dose. It doesn't taste as nasty as the 8mg film and doesn't crumble or dry out either. At least I've not had any that did.

And did you read all the success stories from our alumni here? We have a good many addict/alcoholics who have tapered and jumped and now live completely free of Bup. If you read their whole story you will see a lot of similarities to your own battle. It can be done w/o too much physical discomfort. The mind is another matter. That is where you need to be the strongest.

Keep up the fight.

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 Post subject: 1.4 mgs.
PostPosted: Sun Apr 08, 2012 9:51 am 
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Happy Easter people!
I wanted to thank the folks who responded. Rule62 I will look into the film. I tried it once and found it to be much less potent than the pill. I know that is contrary to what it is suppose to be. However, now that I am weaning, that doesn't seem so important.
I am on Day 3 of 1.2-1.3 mgs. Hard to tell because of the chopped up pills. In 5 days I can get the refill for the 2 mg. tabs. Maybe the film. My Sub doc is on maternity leave so not sure I can get her to approve this. I felt better yesterday than I have felt in probably 5 years! Maybe the steroid shots I received in my wrists for the CTS has something to do with that. Who knows? All I know is, I feel OK. I sleep with minimal (1/2 pill) of Ambien.
Rode my bike for 3 hours yesterday and was fine. When I started to feel a little squirrley last night before bed, I just told myself, just sleep and see how I feel in the morning...Got through without rescue dose. Whew!
This all gives me hope!
I still have fear of what is to come, but trying to stay in today..
Ciao!


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 Post subject: Anxiety but OK..
PostPosted: Thu Apr 12, 2012 3:25 pm 
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I got my Suboxone prescription filled on Monday for 2 mgs. I am now able to get the dosing more precise so I have been on 1.25 mgs. since Monday. I feel anxious and cranky this morning but maybe this has something to do with doing my taxes-aachh! Sleeping is somewhat disrupted but nothing I can't handle. So far so good, if all is well will try and drop next Monday again. Listen to my body. The plan is to pay attention to only overwhelming w/d symptoms, using "rescue .25 mg" for extreme symptoms.
So the bottom line so far is: Started Subs in Sept. 2010. I was on Subs 3 mg/day up to Dec/Jan. Then slowly started the wean process. My Sub doc says none of her patients have been able to wean down from 2mgs, that jumping from 2 mg is OK. This spurs me on, I suppose to prove her wrong.. :)
I am encouraged by the many folks on here who have overcome and gotten off Suboxone.
On to the rest of my day!


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PostPosted: Tue Apr 17, 2012 9:50 am 
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Still plugging along at 1.25 mgs. I tried to just go 1 mg yesterday but was traveling all day, started to get anxiety by late afternoon so took about .2 mgs. Trying to listen to my body but somewhat hard to discern what is withdrawal and what is not. I get very hot and sweaty at times, I think this is part of withdrawal? So looking forward to the day I will not be thinking about Suboxone, wondering if my symptoms are related to it. It is hard to be patient with the wean but I am sticking to it until I get way below the 1 mg mark. I do notice that overall "speedy feeling" is no longer there, I am more tired during the day.
Just spent the weekend with my daughter,who got off of Subs about 2 months ago. She says she is so GLAD she did it, she feels more like herself, can't believe she put herself in the position to have the withdrawal from this medication. I still feel positive..


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