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 Post subject: Well hello there
PostPosted: Sun May 16, 2010 11:16 am 
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Hello everyone my name is Samantha and I am an alcoholic/addict in recovery for 8 years now. I was in AA for 12 years accumulating a year and a half, 2 years and 3 and a half years since 21 years old. My last relapse in 2000 was on vicodin because I was in pain management at the time and I found the vicodin made me feel realllly good. In addition to prescribed fentanyl (150mgs every other day), I was taking 10-12 vicodin a day. The fentanyl did nothing for me (euphoria/addiction wise) but the vicodin was love at first pill and I bought back all the insanity of my disease for 2 years.

I got sober and clean in 2002 but I still had major pain issues. I was under a pain management doctors care for atypical trigeminal neuralgia (burning nerve pain in the face). I had tried every non narcotic option for my pain to no avail. Working w/ my pain doc, my pdoc and my therapist I was put on 30mg roxycodones at half a pill a day or every four hours. From 2002-2007 I rarely took more than a quarter of a pill every other day. My prescription would last 6 months or more. I never felt euphoric or even stoned from it, it just took the pain away.

Tolerance grew and from 2007-2010 I was taking 30-45mg every day (about a quarter every 4-6 hours), but still only as needed. It may be considered a dangerous road I walked but I did it honestly w/ my sponsor, my doctors and my therapist. I always questioned my pain and need for the meds and for 8 years I never took more than I needed and I NEVER took it for anything other than my neuralgia.

In January of this year I found out I was pregnant and told my OB and geneticist everything. We agreed I would taper the pills throughout the pregnancy. Unfortunately I had a miscarriage and I am now preparing my body to try again 100% clean of all narcotics and other medications. I am 41 years old and have about 2 years left to try. My partner and I really want this and we never considered it prior to our happy accident.

I started a taper myself 4.5 weeks ago. I didn't realize that I shouldn't make a 50% cut and I went for 45mg(max)-30mg/day (min) to 22.5 (3/4 pill). I was in acute WD for 2 weeks and it took 4 weeks to feel almost human. I saw a physical therapist to help w/ the pain and told him of my plan when he suggested suboxone. I had researched it and saw that many people were started on a high dose and tapered over 6 months or more and I just didn't have that kind of time. He assured me we could do a quick, comfortable taper and I would be drug free by late July so I could try to conceive by September.

He wanted to start me on 16 but I stabilized fine at 8mgs in his office. Unfortunately I got very sick. I thought it was too much considering my low starting roxy dose so I took 2mg the following day and still got very sick. I know it wasn't WD. It was most likely still too much. I took 1mg today and am having side effects but so far no nausea, dizziness or nodding out. My plan is to do a liquid taper as slow as possible but my hopes are to be off no later than July-August. I don't want to rush recovery or develop PAWS but I really want to try to get pregnant under optimal conditions.

I have a strong support system behind me. I make meetings almost 3-4 times a week (unless I'm sick then I go to online meetings. I have been disabled w/ other conditions since 2004), I have a sponsor whom I share everything with, my partner is in recovery and supportive and I am very determined to get totally clean. Whether I can live pain free is another story but one thing at a time.

Thanks for listening! (if you even got this far!!! LOL) Looking forward to getting to know everyone here. This looks like an awesome place for support, information and understanding.


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PostPosted: Mon May 17, 2010 9:03 am 
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Hello Samantha,
Welcome to the site. You have a long recovery history, and like most of us it has had its share of ups and downs. I can relate to the pregnancy issues. A couple of years ago, I found out I was pregnant and miscarried. It was terrible.Now I am off all meds and would love to try again (I am 36), but just don't know if its in the cards.
Please understand that I am just going to offer my opinion, but what if things don't roll as smoothly as this doctor implies? How long did you wait to start the Suboxone before your last dose of Roxycodone? Did the doctor ever mention Subutex? It seems that in regards to women and pregnancy that Subutex is the preferred choice. While you may not be pregnant yet, you want to be and if you become pregnant sooner than later- you may want to mention it to your physician.
I never touched opiates til I suffered knee injuries from being severely obese most of my life. Even after losing 200 pounds, the damage was done. I started opiate therapy and continued to use more and more, until it got to the point I needed the pills just to function normally.It was frustrating and embarrassing.
Again, I do not want to upset you but try not to rush this. Part of me thinks you should have never started the Sub at all. If you continue to experience problems, you may want to consider other options. Sometimes when we have dreams and we want certain things to become reality, we will convince ourselves of what is best for us. Try to look at all angles of this situation objectively and consider your overall health before anything else! Take care and again, Welcome.

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"It is never too late to be what you might have been!" - George Eliot


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PostPosted: Mon May 17, 2010 9:46 am 
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Welcome to the forum, Samantha. I'm going to let the women give you advice, since I am a dude and I have never been pregnant :wink:

I think you will find this place is full of helpful, kind and considerate people who are quite knowledgeable about recovery and in particular the use of suboxone as a recovery tool.

I admire your sobriety and your obvious commitment to it. :D


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PostPosted: Mon May 17, 2010 10:13 am 
Welcome Samantha. I'm sorry for all you've been through and continue to go through because of your addiction and your chronic pain. I'm sorry, also, for the loss of your baby. I've been very fortunate to have not gone through that myself. I have, however, taken care of women too numerous to count, who have suffered everything from first trimester miscarriage to full-term pregnancy loss. It is always so very sad. I've known several women like you, who had an unplanned pregnancy but grew quite happy about it once the idea settled in. I think it's great if you'd like to try again.
You mentioned several different people involved in your healthcare....your OB, a geneticist, a physical therapist, and I believe a Suboxone doctor. It sounds like everyone is working together on your plan of care which would be exceedingly important right now. I'm not sure how specialized your OB is, but I'm thinking you need one who specializes in high-risk pregnancy and also perhaps one who is equipped to handle fertility issues. Not to sound like a total downer, but at 41 years of age, your ability to conceive is reduced, your risk of miscarriage is higher, and your risk of pregnancy problems in general is higher. That's without factoring in the opiate dependence/addiction issue. I don't mention this to discourage you in your plans, but rather to encourage you to be under the best of care as you go forward.
I agree with Shelwoy about not being sure that buprenorphine is the best way for you to go. Believe me, I'm a huge proponent of bupe. I hardly ever feel like it's not a great option. Really the only times I don't necessarily agree with it, is when time is of the essence. I seldom hear of short stints or quick tapers of bupe working out very well. It seems most of those who try that route, relapse pretty soon after. Plus you have have chronic pain issues. So I just don't know that a goal of becoming completely drug-free in a couple of months is realistic. Shelwoy also mentioned Subutex instead of Suboxone....I think that would be a bette choice as well in case you do end up getting pregnant more quickly than planned. And.....why not consider just staying on a lower dose of Subutex during your attempts to conceive and staying on it during a potential pregnancy? That might be your best option and best chance of staying off full-agonists for the long haul. Might work okay for your pain issues as well. Anyway, something to consider. Of course the other option would be to drop the bupe idea and get yourself into some intensive treatment for your addiction and go the full-abstinence route. The acutes will over with in matter of days and with some comfort meds, you could probably handle it. Then there's PAWS which in my opiniion sucks as bad or worse than the acutes! But you're going to have some of that regardless of what you do. Even with bupe, especially with a quick taper, you will have PAWS. At least, I think it would be a miracle if you didn't. That's why I'm suggesting that you'll need help in the form of in- or out-patient treatment, counseling, therapy, etc.
I've rambled long enough. I know you're in a tough spot and I wish you the best as you go forward. If you haven't already, I would strongly suggest that you make an appointment with a perinatologist or maternal/fetal medicine specialist and discuss all your issues, questions and options. You have a lot to consider and will need help along the way. If it is your desire to become a mother.....then go for it! As long as you're in recovery, there's no reason you shouldn't be able to enjoy that privilege in life, even though it may take a little more 'work' for you than it does for others. Sometimes that makes for some real good mommies!
Hey Shelwoy....you mentioned being off all meds and trying again. Did you already wean off bupe? or were you talking about other meds? Either way....I hope you're able to conceive again if that's what you decide you want! That would be icing on the cake, for all the work you've done and all the progress you've made in your recovery!


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PostPosted: Tue May 18, 2010 11:39 am 
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Hello everyone and thank you all for the warm welcome, your thoughts and opinions and your support! I feel incredibly fortunate to have found such a proactive, positive, intelligent group of people to share my recovery with. This board is unique in it's lack of "suboxone detox hell" and war stories. Reading other boards scared me off even considering suboxone when I decided to get off opiates almost 2 months ago. The sharing of information and concern you all have for one another is impressive and inspiring.

I would agree w/ those of you that said perhaps I shouldn't have gone the route of suboxone and continued my oxy taper since it was so low already. However, I wasn't really educated (by myself or my doctor) about the potency of suboxone or how difficult it would be to just jump off at 2mgs. But here I am trying to find a maintenance dose for 5 days now and part of me feels like I should just continue. Especially since I am doing a liquid taper and sub just seems more absorbent in a liquid form than me dissolving 22.5 of oxy and trying to taper from there. I do appreciate all your input though so if you do think I would have an easier time doing a liquid taper from 22.5mg of oxy, please let me know. At this point it just feels like "six of one, half dozen of another" , but hey.....what do I know :)

I am trying to decide between .8 or .6 as my maintenance dose. I was fine yesterday on .8 but again because of my low oxy dose, I thought I could start lower. I had .6 this morning and I will hold w/ that all day if I can. If I feel WD sick, I will take another.2 and hold for 10 days. Either way I will hold one of these doses and taper every 7-10 days. I absolutely PROMISE I will not rush this. I tapered myself very quickly off klonopin almost 3 years ago and suffered terribly w/ PAWS for almost 18 months. I still have flare up symptoms to this day and it will be exactly three years in August. I would never do anything like that to my poor CNS again. It was by far the worst thing I have ever been through. Lesson learned ;)


I am attempting to treat my pain w/ non drug options so I can have the very best odds for conceiving and carrying a healthy baby to term. I don't even want to take neurontin or any of the new AD's they are prescribing for pain. I've tried them all to no avail. I have other major health issues and my age is a huge deterrent but I do want to give it my all. If I can't take the pain then a pregnancy is off the table. But I won't know unless I try. I need to do so w/ my body as clean as possible. I have to give it 100% effort before I concede to a life on narcotics. I'm fine w/ the fact that I may be on meds for the rest of my life but perhaps I won't have to be. I haven't been in touch w/ my real pain in 8 years.

I will talk to my doctor about Subtex being safer for pregnant women when I see him next week. Are there any fetal studies about this? Thank you all so much for that suggestion.

Again I appreciate everyone's care and concern. This place is amazing and I feel very fortunate to have found it.

Samantha


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PostPosted: Tue May 18, 2010 12:00 pm 
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Hi smat,

I just wanted to throw my support in with the others'. I must say, you sure sound like you've got a great plan in place - I'm impressed with your reasoning and your flexibility. I think it will serve you well in your recovery and in motherhood, should that happen for you.

I'm really pleased that you've found this forum and that it's been a positive resource for you. Have you checked out Dr. Junig's blog? A few months ago he wrote about "Withdrawal in Newborns - Lay off the Guilt Trip". If he noted any studies on subutex, I would think it would be there.

Good luck and keep posting - we're glad to have you with us.

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-As I have grown older, I've learned that pleasing everyone is impossible, but pissing everyone off is a piece of cake.

-I'm only responsible for what I say, not for what you understand.


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