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Unread 10-14-2015, 11:02 PM   #1
spanky
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Default How can I do this ??

Greetings everyone I hope my post finds you all well and blessed. I am a member of this forum but haven't posted in years. I'm 54 yrs old and have been on Subutex for 10 years and am currently taking 1.5mg per day. I just lost my doctor due to the cost as he required multiple visits with Doctors and shrinks all at a $45 co- payment each trip and he only wrote 2 wk scripts at a time for $30 a pop on top of my $1000 a month preminum and my sick wife's Dr bills it was just too much. I've seen this treatment evolve and sadly now in many cases it seems to be more about the Doctors and their profits than it is the patient and their well being, it's become a cash cow but that's another thread. I am desperately trying to find another Doctor but am also realizing it's time to get off, the problem is I've tried a few times and the lethargy and pain are so severe I can't pull it off. My wife is sick, I'm the sole income and missing work is not an option. I'm scared, weary and trapped. I'm writing this hoping to hear from anyone who was my age on this stuff for as long a time as me and has either tapered off or working on it. I'm told the longer you're on it and the older you are the harder it is. Not sure what I'm looking for , encouragement?, hope?, faith to believe I can do it? I'm also interested to see if anyone's ever heard of ibogaine ? It is advertised as a addiction interrupter and have read many positive testimonies. I have a friend going to Mexico in a few weeks to undergo the treatment. Anyways I wish you all a wonderful evening and thank you for indulging my fears and my questions .

Last edited by spanky; 10-14-2015 at 11:06 PM.. Reason: Misspellings
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Unread 10-15-2015, 12:14 AM   #2
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Hey Spanky, I would like to know how you feel about the fact that I am taking 5 mgs of suboxone daily (2mg 8am, 2mg noon and 1mg 4pm)? I have been on this dosing schedule for about 3 yrs. I’ve been on suboxone since May 2009 (seems like just yesterday). I get relief from depression, anxiety and pain not to mention that I’m no longer chasing after illegal drugs like oxycodone, methadone, roxys etc. I will turn 56 in 2016 and have no plans to taper much lower than 4mgs (seems to be threshold or support level). After 6 years I would like to be switched to subutex because there are real drawbacks to naloxone (they are numerous including reduced production of natural endorphins, headaches and if you google it, documented side effects .Also Sparky, just wondering, Is the drug still working after the long period on it, is it keeping you sober? I worry also about being a slave to buprenorphine for so long and the damage it is producing to my health, no doubt (both mental and physical). I am interested in hearing about the long term relationship to suboxone intake and if the medication can sustain its effect 6, 8, 10 or more years. I’m taking 5 mg/day but I split the doses 3x because it helps me keep going throughout the day (I have pain, anxiety and depression). 1 dose/day just does not work for me, I lose productivity. I hope you find a doctor who is not taking advantage of the money making scam so often seen with buprenorphine treatment. I am extremely lucky to have a doctor who treats me no different than a patient who is simply seeking medical care. But this could all change because he is close to retirement and I may soon be in the same boat as you and countless others. Stay in touch.

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Unread 10-15-2015, 12:54 AM   #3
spanky
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Ya know I think when it comes to Subutex/Suboxone the less the better I've found that a little goes a long way. I dose twice a .day but am trying to eliminate the afternoon dose but I'm at the point where any reduction is hard. My last doctor told me NO MORE THAN TWICE A DAY and to always take it as close to the same time. I have no desire to do drugs anymore that is so far behind me these days, but then I do feel addicted to Subutex. I too would just stay on it because that's easier but it's becoming harder to stay on, it's harder to find a Doctor, pay for it and jump through all the hoops most of the so called addiction Doctors make you jump through. Most don't even take insurance any longer. If you want my advice Id recommend that you work on reducing and getting off as soon as you can because the longer you're on it the harder it is. I'm happy to help in anyway I can be that prayer, moral support or just lend a ear ! Blessings

Last edited by spanky; 10-15-2015 at 01:18 AM.. Reason: Typos
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Unread 10-15-2015, 09:14 AM   #4
NancyB
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Wow! A blast from the past! How the heck are you spanky? I'm sorry to hear that your wife is ill though.

Do you still have Kaiser? Is it Kaiser that requires all of that extra 'treatment' or that particular doctor. We had someone recently post about Kaiser in this thread:
http://www.addictionsurvivors.org/vb...ad.php?t=30114 talking about some of the hoops, but it seemed just in the beginning. Yes, unfortunately this treatment has become a nice cash cow for a lot of doctors, but like you said, that's a whole 'nother thread...

When you've tried to taper off, what were your reductions? What kind of pain were you having - withdrawals or legitimate pain issues that the bupe helps with? I think you can do this. Do you think it could be difficult to taper off for you because it's more of an ingrained behavioral issue after having taken the medication for so long and for twice a day? Nothing to do with your age at all really. I have a friend who started bupe in the clinical trials in 2001 and he tapered off after 12 years. He said a lot of it was mental - and sometimes would have a mint or even sublingual B12 or something else instead of bupe to 'trick' his brain in that he was taking it. He did taper off and had some WDs, but nothing that stopped him from going to work. He eventually tapered off of his tic-tacs and B12 too.

I'm not sure about the Ibogaine. A friend of mine out in Los Angeles looked into having it done in Mexico about 5 years ago. They kept calling him back and kind of hounding him until he told them he didn't have the thousands of dollars and asked if they'd do a payment plan. Then after reading more about it, he decided it wasn't worth risking death to try it. He was addicted to heroin at the time, had tried bupe for 2 weeks until his AA group told him to get off of it. So he did and went back to heroin for another year. Then he quit H cold turkey and continues with AA as his support. Just a little side story.

It will be interesting to see how your friend does. I've read where people have very good experiences and then there are some people who died from it. Probably because it's not regulated and who knows what one gets or the conditions of the places that they go. This is an interesting article:
https://www.thefix.com/content/buyin...tment?page=all
Some salient points:
-"Some studies have shown that 1 in 300 patients dies from taking ibogaine."
-"...indicated we’re looking at a three to six months window of no cravings after just one treatment, and considerable better success with more treatments."
-"Even under the best of circumstances, Dr. Polanco estimates the percentage of opiate addicts who get clean and stay that way for more than a year at around 25%-30%; the percentage drops to around 20% with other drugs and alcohol. What is clearer from available research and testimonials is that recovering addicts, at minimum, buy themselves time to make the necessary choices and changes in their lives that support their continued recovery."

It seems that the Ibogaine sort of works like bupe in a way. It stops the cravings and withdrawals so that the patient can work on the psycho-social aspect and make changes necessary in behavior to sustain addiction remission.

The other thing in that article is that you'd have to taper off bupe before you could have the treatment anyways. So it seems like tapering off would be the first thing to do. And getting support either through counseling to learn how to deal with cravings or with a peer support group to talk things through with.

Did you happen to see this thread by someone who tapered off - she has a good, comprehensive list of things that helped her.
http://www.addictionsurvivors.org/vb...ad.php?t=29803

So nice to 'see' you, albeit I wish you weren't having those problems.

Nancy
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Unread 10-15-2015, 05:10 PM   #5
spanky
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Well howdy Nancy ! How are you ? I hope all is well. Nope I no longer have Kaiser in hindsight they were the best result I've had everything since leaving there has been these clinics set up specifically to dispense Suboxone scripts that require 4 visits a month counseling with shrinks and everything has a charge, it is increasingly difficult to stay on this drug.

I have been down as low as 1 mg and am currently at 1.5 and quite comfortable at that dose. Every time I reduced I did so a little at a time. But then all the nasty symptoms of withdrawal set in and I have to be honest I don't see much difference between this and withdrawal from other opiates. I experience extreme lethargy and EXTREME pain in my joints and lower back and I'm sure it's part withdrawal and part pain being masked by this drug. This is further complicated by the fact that my beautiful blue eyed wife is sick and unable to work so I'm it. We have no savings and much debt because of her illness so not going to work is not an option and I cannot work with what withdrawal does to you.

I have managed to squirrel away an abundance of Meds so even without a Dr I'm set for awhile but would far prefer a Doc to help and one who didn't require all the hoop jumping and expense like the old days.

I'm not sold on the ibogaine yet while I've read some miraculous testimonies but then I've read some where the initial withdrawal symptoms are interrupted but only to return for months on end. One of the Docs I was talking with that perform this said Suboxone patients need to be off for TWO MONTHS before treatment. I'm not scared off by the deaths because most places have Docs and do extensive testing before and truthfully if it doesn't work I'd prefer to be dead then endure withdrawal. I NEED TO FINE A DOCTOR. I FEEL ABSOLUTELY TRAPPED.

Enough about me how have you been, share what you've been up too, a bit of your story. Though I remember your name I don't recall your story memory is a tricky thing and I still don't know how to pull off the trick . I hope that your life's at peace, that you're blessed beyond your wildest dreams and that joy is your constant companion !!

Spanky !

Last edited by spanky; 10-15-2015 at 05:13 PM.. Reason: Typos
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Unread 10-16-2015, 07:38 AM   #6
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Hi again, I just gave this site to another member, maybe it will help you. It's on Cognitive Behavioral Therapy: https://moodgym.anu.edu.au/welcome It's often used in addiction treatment.

Are you exercising at all? That's helped boost endorphins for so many people during the tapering process. And as counter-intuitive as it may sound, exercising can combat lethargy because of the endorphin boost. Have you had a physical recently to see if there is something that can be done about your knees and back? That way you can try and figure out what is pain from WDs and what is possibly treatable pain with ibuprofen, etc.

Have you tried alternating dosing? Like take 1.5 one day and 1mg the next to see if you can get to 1mg and be comfortable. With the long haflife of the medication, a lot of people found that doing something like that has been a good way to taper.

Have you tried the matching system to see if you can find a doctor?
https://www.treatmentmatch.org/patients.cfm
Does your insurance allow for self reimbursement for out-of-network doctors, so if you do find a good doctor, you can submit receipts and be directly reimbursed?

Another avenue would be to find an addiction counselor/therapist who can guide you since you have enough medication. That way you'll have support and someone who can provide you with tools on how to get through the taper.

I'm so sorry to hear that your wife is unable to work. That sure does put an extra burden on you.

Nancy
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Unread 10-16-2015, 07:32 PM   #7
spanky
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Hi Nancy, what is Cognitive Behavioral Therapy? I've never heard of it. Nope not exercising yet but I do need to start I work 50-70 hours a week and walk an average of 15000 steps a day sometimes 17-18000. So consequently when I get home I'm exhausted especially since I've cut down to 1.4-1.5mg. I did recently have a physical but at the time getting off bupe wasn't even on my radar and once I started getting down and tried to go down to 1mg that's when I discovered how severe the pain has become so there's a lot to think about here. I am it when it comes to income in my house, the job I have pays well but is extremely demanding and is carried out in view of the public all day constantly interacting with all kinds of folks and often they aren't happy so fatigue or lethargy just won't fly there's no way I could do what I do feeling that way. Everything I've been reading tells me to expect not weeks but months of symptoms and considering how poorly I've tolerated withdrawal I just don't have any hope.

I'm kind of desperate to find a Dr until I can make some decisions and maybe even raise money for ibogaine but even then you need to be off this medicine for two months for it to be effective OR go back on to a short acting opaite for a few weeks to month before undergoing treatment. After all my experiences I cannot tell you have badly I don't want to go through withdrawal.

I have done treatment match but the only folks responding are those who don't accept insurance and expect you to pay as you go. The whole treatment model has changed drastically it's all about maximizing visits per month to make the practice profitable or so it seems. If you know of any good Docs I'm all ears ; )

I so appreciate your concern, it feels heartfelt but I'm afraid by any measure I'm screwed. I just don't know what to do. I'll keep praying about it to the answer comes ; ). I was hoping to hear from some folks who have been where I'm at and successfully tapored off.

Well I had better go and get some things done. God bless you have a wonderful evening !

Spanky

Last edited by spanky; 10-16-2015 at 07:35 PM.. Reason: Typos
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Unread 10-17-2015, 08:49 AM   #8
NancyB
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Hi again, CBT is a type of therapy that helps the patient examine his/her thoughts and, especially if they're detrimental thoughts, change them into more positive helpful thoughts. Here's a link that explains it in detail:
http://www.mayoclinic.org/tests-proc...n/prc-20013594

Have you checked with your insurance company to see if they can help you find a doctor? Might not hurt to try the matching system again as there could be new doctors added too. SAMHSA has a locator: http://www.samhsa.gov/medication-ass...sician-locator

While we wait for someone to post with their tapering experience, here's a thread that has taper stories. Both good and bad - something can be learned from each story. Just remember that the mind is a powerful thing and the more negative the thoughts, the harder it will be. That's why it seems the most positive tapering experiences over the years here have some common threads. Staying positive, exercising, staying hydrated and eating well, not overthinking or projecting, going slowly and being willing to stop at a dose so as to not rush it.
http://www.addictionsurvivors.org/vb...ad.php?t=16678

Do you remember Mary? This may be old, but I think a very good thread.
http://www.addictionsurvivors.org/vb...ad.php?t=16077

Sub-Zero is another person you might remember also. He tapered off after 7 years:
http://www.addictionsurvivors.org/vb...ad.php?t=19473

I hope that gives you some strength that you can do it. Think positively!!

Nancy
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Unread 10-18-2015, 01:32 PM   #9
spanky
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Nancy sorry if I come across negative but have just been weighted down by circumstances and my outlook is based on my experience, which has not been in any way positive . I think I'm gonna focus my energy on finding a Doctor because I just don't know how to do this and work and be there for my wife.
Thanks for all your encouragement . I just feel trapped and beaten. Just need to wait for a better time , timing is everything. If I knew what Subutex/Suboxone was when I started I may have made a different decision. At the time it was promoted as a better alternative to methadone and maybe that's the case but getting off it is just as hard. Oh well this is were we are. Gotta find another Dr.
Thanks again !
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Unread 10-18-2015, 07:29 PM   #10
spanky
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Nancy,

Is Sub Zero still around if so how can I make contact with him ? I was thinking about contacted him and se if he help me with some moral support as I want to do this but just really need someone who has done it.

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Unread 10-18-2015, 09:40 PM   #11
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Hi spanky, unfortunately, it looks like Sub-Zero hasn't been around in over a year and a half. His last post was in April, 2014.

Nancy
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Unread 10-19-2015, 11:32 AM   #12
GirlGettingOffSubs
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Hi Spanky!

I am sorry your friend isn't around, but there are other awesome folks on here. You can do this! Just keep writing about how you feel, and we are here to support you no matter what! You can do this!

Angie
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Unread 10-23-2015, 12:13 AM   #13
spanky
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Well I have been splitting a 1.5mg dose taking 1mg in the morning around 7am and the other .5 between 2-3 so part one of this plan was to get to 1 dose per day as I think that's the best way to tapor from 1 dose because once stable then it's just a matter of whittling down the one dose. Starting this past Sunday I waited long as I could and took 1mg around 2 and have taking only 1mg each day through today. I've waited til about 11:00 am. Now it has not been easy much discomfort and I'm literally counting down to when I can take it. I've had severe body aches squirrelly legs and a little bit of a tough time sleeping. Today is the first time it wasn't as bad as of this writing I'm feeling not bad but it greatly hindered my mornings at work. I must confess that today and yesterday once I got up to get ready that I broke into this bottle of crumbs I have from pills I've cut that broke up and each day took the smallest of a crumb I mean maybe 1/50th of a 2mg pill just a spec and put it under my tongue and was amazed at how much it helped man this stuff is powerful. So hopefully another few days and I'll be at 1 mg once a day having reduced my dose 33%.

I also found a new Doctor that I see in November and that takes away some of my stress and my money ; ). I've been researching a lot about withdrawal aides and have found out there are supplements such as Elimidrol, Calm Support, Heantos 4, Kratom, and supplements like DLPA among others. I intend to use some of these to tailor a exit strategy. Some of these aides are new and claim to help relieve 70-80% of withdrawal symptoms. Some are a little sketchy but I feel like this is truly a case where the end justifies the means. I aim to be off this crap and I intend to get there with as little discomfort as possible. I have to be able to work and found the mornings this week that was quite tough.

Oh Angie thanks for your kind words of support. I've been moody and cranky and afraid but am starting to have this glimmer of hope peeking through. I am gonna lean on my faith and trust that I can do all things through Christ who gives me strength.

Well there you have it a big step almost complete hopefully just a short time from now and I can start working on the next phase which is to start getting into better shape, eat better, and whittle away these chains and maybe JUST maybe be completely clean for the first time in 40 years!

Much love to all you peeps walking out this same journey remember when the going gets tough reach out, we're here and when you feel like quitting look up he's there and and if you ever find yourself surrounded by darkness and doubt remember you are fearfully and wonderfully made, beyond extraordinary and you are every bit worth the struggle just grit your teeth and fight for the freedom that was stolen from you because YOU DESERVE IT AND YOU CAN AND WILL DO IT !!!

Much LOVE Spanky
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Unread 10-23-2015, 07:21 AM   #14
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Hi spanky, sounds like a good plan, but I would rethink waiting as long as you can to take it. What happens is as you described - "I'm literally counting down to when I can take it". That the behavior you want to try to avoid. If you take it at the same time each day, like you would a vitamin, you don't have that psychological deal with contend with. As for Kratom, be very very careful. People have come here addicted to kratom. This is a pretty good thread where people talk about it:
http://www.addictionsurvivors.org/vb...ad.php?t=29034

I'll list some other things that have helped people during and post taper.
For RLS: Hylands Restful Legs, Potassium, Magnesium

Sleep: Melatonin, Valerian Root, Chamomile Tea

Energy: Vitamins in the B family - especially sublingual B12 (that can help with the psychological action of taking something sublingually) - L-tyrosine

Help get natural endorphins going: Exercise; funny movies, tv shows, etc.; listening to your favorite music, laughing

Overall: Not overthinking it; CBT (like the moodgym link in an earlier post); keeping busy.

This thread has tips from people who listed things that helped them while and after they tapered.
http://www.addictionsurvivors.org/vb...ad.php?t=29803

Glad you found a doctor! One less thing to worry about. Get receipts from him/her and submit them to your insurance company to see if you can be reimbursed.

You can and will do this!!

Nancy
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Unread 10-29-2015, 03:43 PM   #15
GirlGettingOffSubs
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Hey Spanky,

How's it going so far? Nancy is on the money with her post. Magnesium and kava stress relief tea by yogi teas was a godsend to me at bedtime, along with melatonin. Benadryl didn't help much, in fact it seemed to make it worse. There is a link to movies and tv shows to watch while tapering, they helped me a lot. I would get out of bed and go watch stuff instead of lying there getting anxious about it. And last but not at all least (maybe even most)...exercise exercise exercise- stinks at first then you feel so much better, not only physically but mentally too.

Give us an update! Hope you are well!
Blessings,
Angie
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Unread 11-01-2015, 07:32 PM   #16
spanky
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Greetings everyone I have gotten my dose down to 1 dose a day of 1mg, basically eliminated the afternoon dose of .5mg. The first few days I'd woke up at 3 in the morning feeling all achey and crawly. I purposely waited til 11:00 to take it so it would last though the night. I had a rough week or so at work in that I was cranky and grumpy especially the few nights I didn't sleep and because of that I got a few bad surveys and it did hinder my ability to earn commission the lethargy was discernable.

Now I want to work on moving my dose up earlier say 9-10 o'clock. Some days it feels like too much then other days I feel like I need more, so though I'm comfortable for the most part it's not perfect so I'm gonna wait before going down again.

The other problem I have is I take Subutex not Suboxne due to allergy issues and at present I'm cutting 2mg pills in half but I cannot get them exactly in half there's a big one and small one usually. Soon I'll need to cut them down even smaller so if anyone has any ideas I'm all ears .

In terms of of supplements to take once we get off I'm taking nothing off the table. Due to my wife's condition I HAVE TO WORK, which means I need to have energy and be comfortable. My job is a fast paced stressful job that's played out in public dealing with many different customers all day. I've heard very good things about elimidrol and DLPA. So we will see.

Thanks for all your guys input I am grateful. I appreciate all your support because of my wife's illness I'm pretty solitary it's just her and me so it means a lot.

Much LOVE Spanky

Last edited by spanky; 11-01-2015 at 07:35 PM.. Reason: Typos
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Unread 11-02-2015, 08:07 AM   #17
NancyB
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Hi spanky, are you taking any supplements now? Like the L-tyrosine and B12 during the day and melatonin, valerian root or chamomile tea at night for sleep?

Are you using one of those pill cutters with the rubber boot to hold the pill? Another thing you can try for now is cutting your 1mg dose in half (or as close as you can get it) and take half in the morning and half in the afternoon and see if that helps you sleep through the night and doesn't affect your work during the day. Some people have done that and then when they're ready, cut the afternoon dose out. Try not to worry about the different in sizes of the halves. Once your body is totally acclimated to the lower dose, it won't matter as much because of the 37-hour half life.

As far as the elimidrol - think twice before spending that kind of money on it. Over the years people here have regretted buying it because it's really nothing but a bunch of amino acids and supplements put together for a lot of money. You could probably do better with the list from the link I posted earlier. Some have had good success with DPLA and it's a lot less expensive.

Please try to stay as positive as you can, that, in itself, will help. We'll be here to cheer you on.

Nancy
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Important disclaimer: Any information in this post is not and does not constitute medical advice under any circumstances. Addiction Survivors, Inc. does not warranty or guarantee the accurateness, completeness, adequacy or currency of the information contained in or linked to the Site. Your use of information on the Site or materials linked to the Site is entirely at your own risk. NEVER take any online advice over that of a qualified healthcare provider. Any information contained on AddictionSurvivors.org should only serve to inspire further investigation with credible, verifiable references sources such as your physician or therapist.
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Unread 11-02-2015, 11:04 AM   #18
GirlGettingOffSubs
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Hey Spanky!

I know it's rough but you are really doing a great job. I agree w Nancy about the pill cutter. I don't know how big those pills are but maybe you could use a razor blade maybe (if you aren't already). Also, I don't know if this would trigger anything, but maybe you could crush it and divide it into piles. I think it would work that way, Nancy, correct me if I am wrong.

I am sorry your wife is not well. Without being too nosy (you don't have to answer i am an Rn and just curious), what is wrong with her that causes her to be unwell?

Nancy has good points about maybe splitting the dose to take it twice so you can sleep. Also try some supplements that have been mentioned, they really do help.

I can understand being in the public and working like that, my heart goes out to you when you don't feel well. You are in my prayers and keep trucking along, slow and sure. We are here for you.

Angie
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Unread 11-10-2015, 11:33 AM   #19
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Hello everyone, nope no supplements yet and I do use a pill cutter but even with it it's hard to cut them exact before I go further I need to find a better way to be more precise. I think someone mentioned taking my Meds twice a day but that is what I'm trying to get away from my last reduction was specifically to get down to 1 dose a day as I've been told that it's easier to transition off 1 per day than it is 2. I can't recall exactly how long it's been since I've switched but I've got a small issue and that is this I was taking my dose around 11:00 but have been trying to work it up earlier so that the first few hours at work when it's the busiest I feel better. For awhile it seemed I was for the most part comfortable but then recently I've noticed that there are days when the dose of 1mg doesn't seem to do what it does other days or in other words there are days when I can feel the aches and pains and like last night in spite of being tired did not sleep very well and there are mornings I get up with a few minor chills and a bad case of the yawns. I DO NOT want to take more nor do I want to double dose I will confess at 3 in the morning I opened my bottle full of pill crumbs form cuts that didn't go well and took the smallest crumb of a pill maybe like 1/30th to 1/50th of a 1/2 pill and took it I finally slept and now at 7:30 am I feel okay but damn don't this defeat the purpose ? Is there anyone out there who has experienced this good some days bad others and will it get better ? I just don't understand why it's okay some days it's not? Any input would be appreciated ..

Bless all of ya's!; )
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Unread 11-23-2015, 03:54 PM   #20
spanky
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Happy Thanksgiving everyone !!!
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Unread 11-24-2015, 05:31 AM   #21
NancyB
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Happy Thanksgiving to you and yours!

Hope things are going well with your taper.

Nancy
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Unread 11-24-2015, 10:29 AM   #22
GirlGettingOffSubs
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Happy Thanksgiving!
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Unread 11-24-2015, 10:44 AM   #23
MattC42286
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Hi spanky! Hope everything works out for you! Just take it one day at a time! Alot of people are rooting for you so make us proud...happy thanksgiving!!!!
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Unread 12-22-2015, 04:05 PM   #24
spanky
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Sorry just saw this thank you everyone and now MERRY CHRISTMAS I guess lol
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