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PostPosted: Wed Nov 13, 2013 12:47 pm 
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Happy Thanksgiving to All!

It seems like an appropriate time to tell someone my story and express how thankful I am that I found buprenorphine. I am almost 60 years old, a wife (married for 42 years!!), mother, grandmother and, oh yeah, an addict. I have chronic pancreatitis caused by gall bladder surgery followed by huge numbers of ERCP's which left lots of scar tissue. I also have asthma. Long story short, I was taking up to 800 mg of OxyContin a day for about 12 years. Prior to that, I had been prescribed about every other narcotic there is, I think. All this medicine was prescribed by one doctor with many other doctors agreeing that this is what I needed in order to have "quality" of life. I got sick and tired of counting the pills, wondering if I had enough to make it through a vacation, could I fill the script in another state, the ordeals at the pharmacy, everything. My doctor finally recommended a pain doctor. She suggested Suboxone. I tried it and had a massive allergic reaction! Wheezing, puffy lips, all that. Also, I didn't wait long enough after my last OxyContin so had HORRIBLE precipitated withdrawals. Not a good experience. So we went back to the OxyContin. My tolerance was so high that I was getting no real pain relief from the oxy. Finally, about a year later, the doc suggested I try the Subutex thinking that the naloxone was what gave me the allergic reaction. She gave me 5 days worth of short acting oxycodone. 14 hours after my last oxy, I took my first 8 mg pill. Wow! It took the withdrawals right away! I was still feeling a little run down but I felt like functioning. I was on 32 mg for about a month then went to 24 mg and now I am on 16 mg. I take 8 mg in the morning and 8 at night. November 19th will be my five month anniversary. I take the meds twice a day because it gives me better pain relief and, yes, I do get some pain relief. Actually more than I did with the oxy because of the tolerance. I know that 16 mg is considered a high dose but it's what I need at the moment. There are days when I only take 8 or 12 but I feel best on 16. I have sooooooooooooo much more energy! The other night I stayed up until 2 in the morning playing cards with my teen aged grandsons. We were all thrilled! I hadn't realized how exhausted the oxy made me feel. I can remember again! I feel like I'm in my 30's. I lost about 15 pounds just because I am living again. When I read various posts about those who can't wait to get off of it, I get confused. Would they want to quit their heart medicine, insulin, or other life saving medication? That's what buprenorphine is for me. And then I see posts asking if they should take Valium or something else to help them get off of the buprenorphine? Do they hear themselves? Everyone is different and I might feel differently next year but right now, this Thansgiving, I'm giving thanks to my doctor and Subutex!


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PostPosted: Wed Nov 13, 2013 1:04 pm 
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Hi Terry, Welcome to the forum!!

I loved reading your story!

Suboxone (Subutex) sounds like it's working wonderfully for you, that's great!! BTW, 16mg isn't necessarily considered to be too high of a dose if you're taking it for pain relief. If 16mg treats your pain well, then stay there.

As for why some of us want off Suboxone, it's just a personal choice. I used to take blood pressure medication, many would argue that's a life saving medication as well. I decided to start exercising and getting in better shape, no more blood pressure medication needed. Kinda the same thing with Suboxone, once I felt secure enough that I had straightened my life out and got some addict tendencies behind me, I decided to take a shot at life without Suboxone. It was a bumpy road in the beginning, but I'm doing pretty decent now. :)

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PostPosted: Wed Nov 13, 2013 1:26 pm 
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Welcome! Glad to hear buprenorphine is working so well keeping both your addiction and chronic pain manageable! Your experience is similar to mine in some ways except that I'm a little younger and male and have no children or grandchildren and have gained back more than 15 pounds since starting buprenorphine. :) My positive experience with the medication is almost identical to yours, however, and I'm equally thankful.

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PostPosted: Wed Nov 13, 2013 1:36 pm 
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After I posted, I started really talking to the addict in me ( who, by the way, is quite dead at times) and I realized that my mind is always thinking about getting off of it. I'm so relieved to be done with the oxy that part of me wants to just stay where I'm at. But to be truthful, I would absolutely love to not be taking anything. I guess I was just getting defensive when I read some of those posts ( not on this forum, by the way) that sounded so judgmental. When I read between the lines of my own post, I saw that I'm already wanting to taper. Hence the 8 and 12 mg. days. So the battle in my mind will rage but at least I'm physically feeling up to the challenge. I can't wait to see where I am tomorrow! I love hearing everyone's stories. It's so great to know I'm not alone. Thanks to everyone out there! We are all in this together.


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PostPosted: Wed Nov 13, 2013 4:01 pm 
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I wanted to mention that I was on Suboxone for 3 years before I got off of it. Some of us need a good while on it, some stay on it for life. I don't think there is a right or wrong approach, we try to do what suits our recovery best.

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PostPosted: Wed Nov 13, 2013 6:03 pm 
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Hi Terry,

What a great story! It sounds like you are one of the lucky ones who found some good doctors who knew about suboxone and were willing to try it. I can imagine how much better you feel today than when you were on the oxy rollercoaster!

I wanted to tell you that you shouldn't worry right now about what you will do in the future. If you decide to stay on suboxone for life, that is just fine! If you want to give it a go without it, you can decide that when you get there. This forum is very pro-suboxone, but we also see the other side of the coin. Some people, depending on thier addiction and life experiences, and also many other outside circumstances, want to be off of it. The point here is, whatever you decide to do is a valid choice and will be 100% supported here.

This soon in your treatment you should be doing exactly what you are doing. Enjoying the newly found freedom you have with suboxone and focusing on living your life! Dwelling on the what if's of the future will only add to the addictive tendancies. The good news is, our Dr. J believes that it doesn't matter how long you have been on suboxone...the tapering and jumping process won't be any more difficult today or 5 years from now. And, I personally believe that if you are going to have to be on some kind of narcotic pain reliever because of the pain issues you have, suboxone is far and above the best and safest choice.

Thanks so much for sharing your story with us. I am also very thankful for suboxone...my life is so much better with it than without!

Q

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