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Methadone success story

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  • Methadone success story

    I was addicted to opiates on and off for 11 years. At my worst, I was on 90 mg of morphine AND 60 to 70 mg of Vicodin a day, prescribed by my "pain clinic". I was at that clinic for almost 2 yrs. Then failed a random bc I had Percocet in my system and no morphine or Vicodin. I was mad af.. I had valid pain but it took almost that whole time to find a dr to diagnose and fix my ankle.
    I know I'm an addict, I secretly knew for years s but was a nursing school student and minored in psych so the con game was fairly easy. I knew what to say and how to present until I got messed up on my random. All in retrospect though it was this that bolstered me to go to that last dr appointment with an orthopedic surgeon. I was trying to score but he did a diagnostic X-ray and said, "your foot is 75% dislocated."I was shook, after eleven years, a diagnosis and surgery date. And I knew I'd get pain meds! Score! Nope, this was a no shit doc that looked at my whole medical history. No pain meds until after surgery. But hey I knew where to get them, either trade my dad or he knew where to buy them.
    So surgery came and after the real pain began. Holy smokes, this was worse than anything I'd had in last eleven years. To make a long story short, at last follow up, when I claimed to have really bad pain still (I didn't) I remember doc say "look, your problem is fixed, you don't need pain meds, you want them. There's a difference, look at your behavior."
    He knew, I knew.. yet that was the first time I was called out by anyone other than my mom. She was a recovery success 30+ years off alcohol and no relapse.
    After social services tried to talk to my daughter at school I got a real wake up call. Three months after surgery I called the local methadone clinic. It took a while to get in, but on October 13th I started. I went in knowing I wouldn't be a lifer on methadone, but over the course of about three years I was up to 160 mg a day!! I was not using and working full time. I start mending the fences with my family. I would later come to realize I had plateaued.
    My daughter was accepted to a six week program out of state at a college. She was sixteen now and we were "happy". When it was time to go pick her up I was SO excited. I called my methadone clinic and told them I'd be out of state for a few days, so no random call backs right? I mean I was going 1 time every two weeks to pick up my meds. Wrong! I got one state over I get a call from my counselor and he says "you need to come in tomorrow for a random check."
    It finally dawned on me, sure I was free from pain meds, but someone and something else had control over my life!
    When I came home I made an appointment with the "doctor" and informed him I was ready to tapper. He said okay, you can do one or two mg per week. I said "I was thinking more like ten or twenty"! His eyes got all big. I said I need to get free and I ain't doing a year and a half of this withdrawal shit".
    He said "the most I can do safely is 8 mg per week. But if you decide to take that number down after the first few weeks, let me know."
    Honestly, I was scared as hell but I was determined. I was so lucky to have my family behind me. I had an awesome support system. After four weeks and down 32 mgs I was shocked, every Monday when I'd decrease I'd have a day of discomfort and then I was ok. 19 weeks later, I was down to 8 mg and about to step out over the edge of a cliff. I figured since the last 19 weeks were relatively easy so the last week I'd be fine. They asked at the clinic if I wanted to do 2 mg a week. I declined, the first day of freedom off methadone I felt pretty good, I was pumped even. The next few days I really regretted my choice.
    My head hurt, my thinking was fuzzy, ALL my joints hurt, I was sick to my stomach, I was sorry I made that decision! As it happened it was Labor Day weekend. My daughter had to work on that third night off. I know the Creator had be watching over me. I had decided to go cold turkey the Thursday before Labor Day, and normally when my daughter left for work she would take the key to my lock box off and leave at home. That Saturday she did not. It was that night that I wanted for methadone but had no key! I decided I was wrong to go cold turkey. I wanted the methadone out of that box. I prayed so hard because my only option was to grab some tools and break that box open like the junkie I was.. or pray to my ancestors and cry for mercy.
    I finally fell asleep from exhaustion around midnight and slept all throughout the night. In the morning when I woke up I was not over the craving but it subsided. Until my mom and daughter dragged me to wal mart. I sat in the fabric aisle in such discomfort, it's funny now but at the time I was so angry at the two people I love most in this world.
    The day came when I went to the methadone clinic for my last appointment. My exit if you will. I sat in the waiting room, the people coming in looked different. I thought "is that what I looked like?" I was horrified to be honest. I met with my counselor and told him how hard that last week was. But I felt good. He wished me well and said "I know you won't be back."
    I never did. That was three years ago on Aug 28 2017. The first three weeks totally off were crazy. My eyes hurt, I was sneezing all the time, my jaw muscles ached whenever I ate. Looking back I realized my senses had been dulled by the methadone and were "coming back online" lol
    Not funny though my feet had started to cramp and burn. I had an anxiety attack at work and had an irregular EKG. I eventually discovered I had painful neuropathy in both feet caused by being diabetic. I had truly been looking forward to not needing any medication. It seems the methadone had been acting as a pain med for my nerves.
    I felt angry and deceived. I went to see a doctor about the pain, after a few weeks of tramadol she suggested a "pain clinic".. I laughed so hard and was like "lady, I did not just hear that. There has to be an alternative." It was like a bad cosmic joke.
    So skip to today, no relapse, no more pain meds. I got my blood sugar controlled and that helped my pain. I know which foods aggravates my pain. I have a stellar neurologist who after two years found the right meds to help make my neuropathy tolerable. And I am greatful for this breath of life the Creator gave me. My daughter started her sophomore year in College and has NEVER drank, drugged, smoked a cigarette and hates coffee.
    I don't know why I am blessed like that, but I feel it everyday.
    I believe the key to success is to live day by day, but also to make active thought and behavior changes that are sustained. There was one particular day shortly after I got off methadone I felt old me creeping in, I was getting mad for no reason. I asked my mom and daughter to let me try over. I walked out of my apartment and came back in and they let me start over! I am one of the lucky ones, but it was hard work!!
    For anyone who has read my story all the way through, thank you and Creator bless you with peace of mind body and spirit.

    PS. I'm on Lyrica, cymbalta, and a very low dose of nortriptyline for my neuropathy if you wondering.
    Last edited by OneIN10; 09-02-2017, 01:13 PM.

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