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Narcotic Withdrawal -- any advice welcome Narcotic Withdrawal -- any advice welcome

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Unread 01-21-2003, 11:05 AM
Narcotic Withdrawal -- any advice welcome

Hi sister-Princesses,

I sure could use your help and words of encouragement right now.

As part of my treatment for chronic pelvic pain (which was found to be adenomyosis), I have been taking maximum doses of Percocet for long enough to have built both a tolerance and physical dependency. The good news is: I am feeling better since my SAH 5 weeks ago (today!) to be cutting back. The bad news is: I am having symptoms. Intestinal distress, anxiety, tearfulness, and physical coordination issues (I keep dropping things!). My Dr. said that the withdrawal wouldn't kill me, to go slowly, and call if I ran into problems. The thing is, I want to do this withdrawal, the symptoms are manageable, though not fun. Anything you can suggest to make it go easier would be welcome in my day.

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Unread 01-21-2003, 11:23 AM
I am going to be honest, I don't really know

but my common sense is saying, pain meds are kinda tiered as far as potency. Percocet is stronger than vicodin and vicodin is stronger than darvocet. Maybe a program where you step down to a less potent drug for a while and continue down the the steps would be something to explore. Or perhaps another drugs, say, Paxil to address the anxiety that comes with withdrawal is something to explore.

Just guessing on this. And I am strongly tempted to relate some stories from my days of dating a chemical dependency counselor that simply aren't appicable to your situation. Wouldn't be useful to discuss that really, but I will say that there are some things that drug treatment centers do in withdrawal situations to ease the symptoms. I would be stepping beyond my area of expertise here (actually, I readily admit I am no expert at anything LOL)

I've been lucky with my drug tolerance, if I am not in pain, I leave the drugs alone with few repercussions.
Unread 01-21-2003, 11:37 AM
Narcotic Withdrawal -- any advice welcome


It's possible, also, that some of the symptoms that you relate could be due to the hormonal roller coaster that so many of us go through -- even if the ovaries stayed in place. Certainly anxiety, the "dropsies" and tearfulness can also be signs of hormonal wackiness!

What might really help would be to be very careful about your diet and supplements at this time. A good multivitamin (with lots of B-vitamins, good for the nervous system); calcium and magnesium, and consider adding in Omega-3 and evening primrose oil. These are recommended for helping neurotransmitter function in ADHD kids, and work well on the low-estrogen brain that so many of us experience. They also may help ease much of the withdrawal for you. Also, make sure that you drink a LOT of water, and stay away from caffeine and salty things, which will help your kidneys and liver "flush" out the drug residues.

I would also ask your doctor about taking anti-inflammatories of some sort. You're recent enough from surgery to still possibly be having some pain from increased activity on still-healing tissues, and perhaps the antis would help with pain and intestinal issues.

Good luck! It's hard enough to have been in that sort of pain for so have to then go through withdrawal seems so cruel. But I hope you have many pain-free years ahead of you -- what a blessing that will be!

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Unread 01-21-2003, 12:39 PM
Narcotic Withdrawal -- any advice welcome


ing for you!

Unread 01-21-2003, 12:59 PM
Narcotic Withdrawal -- any advice welcome

Oh, I love the hystersisters! Thank you so much.

I am taking 200mg Celebrex * 2/day (well, I haven't been as regular as I should and you've give me more motivation to keep it up )and am also going back a little to Ultram, which I took for a year before the narcotics for the residual pain and cramping (sort-of the step-down less physically addictive theory, which my Dr. OK'ed). I have become so sensitized to the pain that my pain-free days have not yet arrived. It has, I believe the word is, centralized. And I guess you are right, Audrey, there surely is still healing going on in there. I was going to try to go back to work this week, and am finding this is really taking it out of me. I am afraid I would burst into tears any moment.

I will really try the supplements and extra water. Any recommendation about the best source of Omega-3's? I am finding caffeine really does seem to make it all worse, now that you mention it. Thanks again!

Please keep the responses coming. It is keeping me on track today through this experience. Since it has become physically challenging, it is really taking alot of will-power to stay with my program.

Unread 01-21-2003, 01:41 PM
Narcotic Withdrawal -- any advice welcome


I have had personal experience when it comes to withdrawal from Percocet. PLEASE email or PM me if ya need to talk. I have a lot of advice and hints/tips to help you get through this. At one point, I was taking Percocet for a year straight (regular schedule.. 2-3 5 mg tabs every 4 hours).

You can do this! I know you can!

Hope to hear from ya soon.

Unread 01-21-2003, 09:29 PM
Narcotic Withdrawal -- any advice welcome


About the caffeine (and sugar, for that matter): this is a time to eat as well as you possibly can, easily digestible things, and nothing that will "spike" your blood sugar. Meal bars will do (although you need to watch the vitamin doses and titrate your multivitamins as necessary.

I'm 8 months out, and I can tell that there is still healing going on -- and I'm not dealing with the withdrawal that you are! The NSAIDs are a good idea, but do make sure that you're taking them with food. And the Ultram should help.

Since the pain is "centralized", what about trying some guided imagery tapes? The idea behind that or any other biofeedback/meditation technique is to break the pathways that pain has burned into your brain, and create new ones. It's something that has really helped me with the pain of herniated discs and may also be a useful technique to cope with some of the hormonal storm stuff that goes on in those first couple of months.

You'll get there. Take as good care of yourself as you can, get as much sleep as you can, and pamper the still! 5 weeks is VERY early in the recovery process, especially with the abdominal approach. Going back to work is rarely advised quite so soon. I could no way have gone back to my very physical job in the first two months...and even those first few weeks I was glad for a lightened schedule.

Take care, and keep talking...

Unread 01-21-2003, 09:48 PM
Narcotic Withdrawal -- any advice welcome


Hang in there!

Unread 01-22-2003, 04:15 AM
Narcotic Withdrawal -- any advice welcome

awwww sweetie...

I to know what going thru the withdrawel from the percocet is like also. it's no picnic that's for sure. After 18 months on a combitnation of perc's and Torodal, when I first started having symptoms of withdrawel I thought "no way". I to had the nausea, the shakes real bad and a lot of dizzyiness.

Some things that helped me were walking outside ALOT, It seemed to help the shakes abit. I made sure I had someone with me as the dizzyness scared me and I was afraid to go to far alone. As Audrey said, I also had to elimante the caffeine and eat really well.

Taking anti-inflammortories (sp) instead of heavy duty pain meds seemed to help to...I had to keep a journel on when I took them and tried to go a little longer each time in-between. 15 min the first time, 20 the next and so on and so on...

we'll be here holding your hand sweetie....and help where we can, It's not easy but you can do this.

tons and tons of

Unread 01-22-2003, 01:06 PM
TRUE withdrawal is like a really bad case of the flu

And you 99.99% of the time have severe diarrhea for about a week. Then it just goes away gradually. The 1st 48 hours are the worst, then you should gradually get better.

If it's been more than 48 hours of SEVERE flu like symptoms - it's probably not withdrawal.

And Audry's right, a step down program is generally recommended. Cold turkey is rarely recommended unless you've been taking them prn or as needed and not at regular intervals (every 6-8 hours, etc). Then, cold turkey is fine if you only take one "occasionally" and at different times (2 one day, one the next, maybe skipping a day here or there).

And, if after 48 hours you're not getting better, I'd look into hrt matters. Teary eyes, some joint pain and all the stuff listed at usually occur 4-6 weeks after a tah/bso and sometimes occurs when only the uterus is taken out because the little rascals (ovaries) go to "sleep"/shock and just plain don't work.

See your doctor if any of the above applies and indicates it's not withdrawal.

If you think it is withdrawal - keeping busy helps but don't overdo it. Walks, LOTS of water, and tylenol are all ok.

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