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Archive for the ‘withdrawal’ Category

I have a cold. My throat is really sore and goopy and I am wiped and achy. The sore throat started Monday evening. I only arrived home Friday evening. I swear, the moment I saw my chidren they must have infected me.

Both Maya and Asher were home Monday for supposed illness, but they got awfully perky and annoying and I regretted letting them stay home. The next day, Maya was fine and Asher was much worse. He stayed home again and acted as a sick child should, lying around like a blob and sleeping a lot. The two of us crawled into my bed an snoozed away a good part of the day. Now he’s back to his old self and I still feel like crap.

Part of the crappy feeling might be that I am officially painkiller-free. I’d like to say I am drug-free, but they have me on a great pile of other things, so I can’t. Anyway, I kept forgetting to take the painkiller on time the last few days and didn’t notice much of a difference, so my last dose wore off at around 1 am and I haven’t taken any since. It might not sound like a lot of time to you, but to me it is huge. I haven’t gone this long without taking those stupid narcotics since the doctor put me on them, several years ago.

My goal in getting off the heavy stuff was to avoid withdrawal as much as possible. I have experienced it several times (when I would forget to take my pills on time for some reason and a couple times in the hospital when they messed up my dosing) and it sucks in a very big way. I had a big argument in the hospital with J over this, as he wanted me to go cold turkey and get it over with. I kept saying, “I’m not going through withdrawal. I’m weaning slowly,” like a broken record, or possibly a stubborn child. The pharmacist came up to talk about it and said both our arguments had merit and I told her, “But I’m the patient and he isn’t and I’m not going through withdrawal.” I already have enough shit to deal with.

I think he secretly thought I would drag my feet at the end, that the closer I got, the slower I’d go. He underestimated my will to be free of this stuff.

So I am happy to report no withdrawal symptoms so far, just crappy FMS ones. I love spring (who doesn’t?) but it is hell on my body. I think I’ll take a nice little nap.  

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 I realized this morning that since the piece I wrote on the overview of conversion isn’t actually going to be published until September, it wasn’t very smart of me to put it in my blog now. So I made it disappear. I’ll bring it back when it comes out in the paper. It isn’t like I have a massive readership here, but still, it seems unprofessional and I am sure the editor would not have been delighted.

And so, instead I will talk about me. Me, me, me!

I mentioned a while ago that I had decided to wean myself off the painkillers I’ve been on for my Fibromyalgia, so I thought I’d update that, since some people have actually asked.

It hasn’t been as awful as I feared. I’ve cut my dose in half at this point. Going down the first quarter of a dose was really easy, and I started to think it would be a snap and I’d have it done by the end of the summer, but then the next quarter took about 4 times as long. It wasn’t so much the traditional withdrawal symptoms that got to me, but my Restless Leg syndrome.

RLS is a bizarre annoyance, where one had an irresistible urge to move one’s legs. It sometimes affects other limbs, in my case, my right arm is the worst. My mother has it, one brother, and I’ve noticed poor Asher twitching his legs as he falls asleep lately, telling me, “I just need to move them.” The weirdness continues to another generation.

Anyway, RLS is worsted by some things, like pregnancy (it was awful) and – surprise! – opiate withdrawal. My arm makes me so crazy at times that I want to punch a wall. I twitch and wiggle it non-stop when it is bad, and then when it fades, I’m left with sore muscles from the constant movement. I have, at times, literally had my arm fling me into consciousness when I’m in bed at night.

But, other than that, it really hasn’t been too bad. I’m delighted to be taking so much less, and I can actually imagine doing this successfully now.

You know what I want to know, though? I want to know what opiates feel like to those not taking them for pain. I adjust my dose slightly depending on a full or empty stomach, or the degree of pain, and sometimes I overshoot a bit. When I do, I get a dull ache in my head and my skin itches. I dislike this. I get no sensation of feeling high and it certainly isn’t pleasant. I cannot imagine that those people taking stuff like Oxycontin for fun feel like this. But clearly, this stuff will never feel fun to me. Anyone out there want to fess up as to what feeling high on opiates feels like, just to satisfy my curiosity?

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It wasn’t as humid yesterday, and is even better today, and I could even breath properly most of the time, but it is still a little too hot for my liking. Lots of sweating.

Poor Jasper is suffering way worse than me, though, with that big fur coat. I got ready to pick up the kids from school the other day and prepared to bring him along as I always do when they are all at school (Boo is only their full days for two days). He was all excited and waited at the door wagging his tail. I put the leash on him, opened the door, went out and waited for him to follow and he stopped dead at the doorway. I’m so glad I made the appointment last week to get him buzzed, even if he will look like a doggy dork. He’ll be more comfortable. (Yes, of course I’ll post pictures.)

So soon, no more hot dog. He’s at the groomers right now.

He was not impressed that I was leaving him there, even though there were two nice people patting him and telling him how lovely he is, and started to cry as I left. I swear, I felt almost as badly as I did when I first left my kids at daycare.

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Way back in the beginning of this blog, in the bloggy stone age, I wrote about chronic pain and painkillers. I explained why I took them and how the addiction scenario portrayed in the TV show House is unrealistic. I was all pro-drugs. Now I’ve decided I have to quit taking them. And it is going to suck.

My biggest problem is that my body gets used to the amount of meds I’m taking pretty quickly (and it seems to be speeding up as time passes), which means I have to take more and more for any effect. That is annoying – I imagine myself having to swallow 20 pills per dose someday, which is stupid.

Also stupid is that as my body becomes more used to the drugs, the more I experience withdrawal symptoms if I don’t take the pills. Withdrawal doesn’t automatically equal addiction, by the way. Plenty of drugs produce dependence, like all anti-depressants, and the fact that your body gets used to them and then feels badly when they are removed is very common. That’s all well and good, but what it comes down to is the same thing – I have to take the pills or I start feeling like crap, crap that has nothing to do with the FMS. I don’t like being tied down that way and that, plus the lessening efficacy, means it is time to toss them.

Easier said than done, unfortunately. It’s going to hurt. You know all those bad 70’s cop shows when the junkie is picked up all sweaty and shaking and promised to spill everything he knows for a fix, because he’s ‘hurting bad’? It’s pretty accurate. It does hurt and sweating and chills can be involved, if you go cold turkey. I do not plan to go cold turkey, but it is still going to hurt.

Fortunately, J is very supportive, because I am about to become even less useful than I already am, and that’s pretty darn useless.

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