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Please Help - I just can't do it

I have been "lurking" in this forum for a couple of weeks as I am trying to withdraw from heavy hydrocodone use (10/500 - 20 per day).  This forum is filled with amazing, supportive people whose posts I have read and re-read over and over again, desperately holding on to your words of wisdom and encouragement.
But now, I am at the point where I need you and hopefully someone out there can give me the much-needed kick in the a$$ I so desperately need.

Here's my story:
I am a 43 yr old professional woman, highly educated who has had a fantastic career.  I resigned from my position 2 years ago to stay at home and raise my two step-children.  I began taking hydrocodone 4 years ago, using them responsibly at first, but then taking more and more and more.  Now, despite my education, career, what have you, I am nothing more than a junky.

My prescription was for 180 per month, which I filled religiously.  To me, that was a perfect day - a new bottle of pills and life was perfect.  One day, on a regularly scheduled visit to my doctor, I was informed that my prescribing physician was no longer there and I would have to see a different doc.  Well, he had some concerns about the quantity of medicine I was taking, so he said he was going to taper me down, starting with a script for 150 - then next month 120, etc., until I was pill-free.  I argued with him that I did not have a problem and needed the pills for my pain.  He said no.  Either taper off, or leave his office as a patient.  So, I walked out with a script for the 150 and sat in my car and cried.  But I cried because I realized what had happened to me - I was an addict.
So, I started to taper, but it did not go so well and I ended up taking all of them within a 13 day period.
Then, I moved and my back went out.  I called my regular doc but they were fully booked for at least 3 days and if it was an emergency, I should go to the urgent care.  Which I did.  I crawled in to this other doctor's office, with legitimate pain, and he made me give a urine sample and took x-rays of my back, and asked me about previous medications.  And I lied.  I did not tell him that I had a regular doc who was already prescribing meds for me.  But guess what?  He knew.  And he confronted me about it.  He showed me something called a RPMD (I can't remember exactly what it's called) but there it was, in black and white, the amount and frequency I was taking narcotics.  He literally threw a script at me for 20 hydrocodone, yelled at me for lying to him and thre me out of his office.  Two days later, I received a letter from his office saying he was terminating me as a patient.  I have never, ever felt so humiliated.

I have not been back to my regular doctor and don't know if I should.  I have 1 pill left and I took half of it yesterday.  The withdrawal I am going through is horrible, much worse than any flu I have ever had.  I am taking B-12 and L-T every couple of hours, but nothing is helping.  I have felxerall  I take at night so my legs stop shaking, but I have to take at least 2 before they have any effect.

I simply can't do this.  I know my post is rather long, but here I am, baring my soul to everyone out there because I am too weak to do this by myself.  No one knows about my addiction. No one.  I have no one to talk to, no one to confide in, but if I don't kick this addiction, I know things will not end well for me.
Please, please someone out there help me.
Thank you.
Dani
59 Responses
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1979360 tn?1328143865
just wanted to check in with you and see how things were going for ya today?
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Avatar universal
Yes the post from beenthere was excellent as are all the others. I must say I so admire you for flushing those last pills!  I couldn't have done it!  And I can feel why you keep that half a pill; its like the last thread to your old life and is your 'back up' in case sobriety doesn't work. I feel the pills are the only thing I have in the world to make me feel better and am terrified to let go of them but my rational mind knows better. Someday I'll get there but not today and probably not tomorrow. I'm not that strong yet. G'nite all and God bless. I'll be here lurking or posting and rooting for all of you!
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Avatar universal
I too want to congragulate you on your progress and strength for standing up to your doctor....there really isn't much I can say that all these wondnerful people haven't said already but I will say stay strong and keep up the good fight
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Avatar universal
Thanks for the support and understanding! Like lost, I also smoke and I hate it but am almost powerless over that addiction also. I have a high level secure job that I love and no one suspects I'm an addict but the stress level is such that both addictions are almost necessary for survival! I also have a back-up med for my 'out' days: tramadol. This is a non-narcotic pain med that completely blocks the withdrawalS from the hydros and greatly helps the pain that got us here but more important (for me) is it almost alleviates the w/d symptoms. Its still uncomfortable the first 3 or 4 days but nothing like going c/t. Just another crutch however.
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Avatar universal
I just wanted to say hi and offer you some encouragement
this thing will go on as long as you go to and call doctors eventually your ins will put a stop on it with a letter to all the doctors and pharmacy's but it can go on a wile you can break this habit..... I had mine b/4 everybody was linked by computer and it lasted 16 1/2 yr I lost all hope and dignity
but if I can walk away from it so can you it takes resolve and perseverance dont go back for more make this your last detox this stuff dose permanent damage to your brain liver and kidneys it just not worth the good feeling get involved with N/A and start going to meetings you need to change the very way you think and reason to overcome this I wish you all the best good luck and God bless.....Gnarly  
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Avatar universal
Hi Dani!

All I can say is WOW I just  caught up on your thread.  You have really been busy this week.  I am so proud of you for your progress.  BTW your Doc is crazy!! For me I am fighting the good fight and working on day 5 of 40% taper of orginal dose.. (((((HUGS)))))
Helpful - 0
Avatar universal
Hi Osage - don't, whatever you do, give up!  Hope, encouragement, love and most importantly love, is what you will find here on this message board.  I am a heavy hydrocodone user (even though I am not currently using, I will always refer to myself as a user) - and if it had not been for people here posting their experiences, along with words of encouragement, I would not be where I am today.  Hence my name "Lost All Hope" (I was so upset, I couldn't even spell it correctly...) - Bama, Lulu, TheAddict, every single person who has responded to my initial post are the ones who have brought me to today.

You have to stop when you are ready and resolved - not because someone is telling you to.  This is probably one of the most difficult things you will ever do - if you read the post by "Beenthereandback" you will know exactly what to expect - and it isn't pretty, to say the least.

You are honest by saying you are not ready - so lurk by all means, gather all the information you can/want - and then when you are ready - and only when YOU are ready, we are all here for you.  And will be here for you every miserable step of the way.

Hugs,
Dani
Helpful - 0
Avatar universal
Hi owesage.... I read your post and could relate so much. In the height our both myself and husband we were eating loratabs roxies morphine pills oxycontin . Anything we could get form doctors on the street. We were a complete mess. My detox was very hard. And i was so scared to let go. I had a knee replacement. With complications. The pain was bad for a long time. I got so sick of counting planning..using.more and more....its not a pleasant feeling.to.realize you've got a problem.

Im.glad you came.forward and posted. It takes courage to admitt your problem. But smart to want help. This will be the best decision you've made for yourself in your life.
Helpful - 0
Avatar universal
My story is very similar to yours except I am about 10 years older and have been on lortabs for almost 12 years now. I too am up to 20 a day and just took my last three about an hour ago. Now I'm at that point every month where I'm out and start scrounging until the next refill etc. You know the drill!  My husband is so fed up with  me but he's part of the problem too. He not only gives me his script every month but gets them for me thru other people! Also he's an alcoholic and former cocaine addict so I feel he has no right to talk bad about my addiction but he does. Anyway I've always known that no addict will quit until they're good and ready and today I'm not. I'm just mad at myself for letting it get this bad! I wish you well and will pray for your success and 'lurk' here also so I don't feel so alone.
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Avatar universal
I think I understand your logic, but even if I didn't, I'm so glad that you are resolved to stay off of this crap!  I finally threw away my last bottle!  I kept the bottle from my last script. (No pills in it) I just wanted to remember the exact day of my last script.  It was November 15 for the Norco and Sept. 15 for the methadone.
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Avatar universal
First of all - Thank you, EVERY ONE, for all of your kind and very supportive words!  I know I could not be as far as I am without all of you.

And now to what happened today:
I received a call from my doc at 9:47 this morning asking me to please come in.  I asked him why and he told me that he knew I had not picked up my prescription from Walgreens and, as a result, he needs me to come back to his office and sign a "refusal of Treatment" waiver.  I asked him why.  And he told me that if I was not going to follow his direction and taper off something I have ALREADY weaned myself off of, he was not going to be held liable should I have a stroke, seizure or whatever the eff he thinks I am going to have, and he wants this in writing.

So, what do I do?  I tell him I was actually on my way to Walgreens to pick up my script, so it would not be necessary for me to sign any waiver or release form.  He then asked if I was going to "finally listen to him and do this the right (his) way", and I told him yes, I will (Jahwohl, Herr Commandant...).  So, I hung up the phone, drove over to Walgreens, gave the pharmacy tech hell about patient privacy and who do they think they are telling my doc that I hadn't picked up my prescription yet, and left with a bottle of 120 hydrocodone.

When I came home, I took the full bottle, minus1 (I don't know why...?) and poured them into a bowl of bleach - again, I don't know why I didn't flush them, or why I chose to dissolve them in bleach.... and then took my dogs for a walk, giving my doc the mental finger.

Yes, I will go back next month and I will play along - but no, I will not start taking the pills again because this is bullcrap and there is no way I am strong enough to do this a second or third time...

Dani  
Helpful - 0
1991787 tn?1326908850
First of all, I would like to see you not judge yourself so harshly.  We are all in the same boat, and your story sounds VERY similar to mine. My use is very much like yours, and I also have the same huge secret.  I can relate to the feeling of fear and desperation.  I admire your openess and honesty.  You are reaching out for help, and should never be punished as you were by any MD for doing so.  You are in this situation because your MD assisted in creating it.  
May I suggest a pain clinic - they are very experienced with your situation, won't belittle or judge you, and will help you with your legitimate pain in a responsible way.  
You are a good woman, and can do this.  There is hope for you.  It's a nightmare ( at least this is how I feel about all of this), but I believe you can conquer it and come out the other side stronger.
Again, keep faith, remain honest, and HANG IN THERE!!!  You are not alone, and you can succeed!!!  
I wish all of the best for you and yours!
Helpful - 0
1374653 tn?1289239473
Just wanted to share some words of encouragement on your journey and appreciation for your willingness to express yourself about issues we all are face or have faced in the past.  This is a very interesting and meaningful thread with a lot of good posts worth reading and thinking about.  I really like the open attitudes and clarity in terms of the reality of recovery.  I think a good balance of faith and work is best for overcoming any challenge.

My past experiences with addiction and recovery have really provided opportunities for me to deal with myself in ways that no other situation could. I have to believe that is an the ultimate test of will and self-belief.
Helpful - 0
Avatar universal
Hi, I to have had a very haevy addiction to loratabs and the withdraws are pure hell! I am a professional and of course started taking them after a back Injury and then became addicted to them. I tried very hard to stop but could not get threw the withdraws cause I had to work and witout taking them it was impossible to do that. I did all the research on methadone and other medications to stop but didn't want to replace one addiction for another. I have read everyones suggestions for what has helped with there withdraws and I think it depends on the person really, what worked for me was waiting until my withdraws started to kick in full blast then I would take my regular dose and I reapeated this until it got to the point my withdraws stopped because I had such a low amount in my system. I waited usually until the 3rd day cause that's when the withdraws for me became the most severe with the sweats the runs restless legs stress and stomache pains. I would recomend you trying this and I pray it works for you like it did for me cause lord knows I know the hell you are going threw right now and I wouldn't wish that upon anyone
Helpful - 0
Avatar universal
The doctors want.to.keep you coming back.for more more more. Each visit you go.to they get paid. I went to my pain management doctor and.told.him what i did. And was doing. I told him about the fill ins i was buying. And he told me id never be off oxycontin. That my body and pain needed them. He even tried to convince me i changed my brain chemistry.

While i.was waiting to.see him for nonnarcotic  pain meds ie lidoderm patch cream mobic. There was a lady who was in her 50s who looked like a skeleton and death worn over. She looked ill. Shakey, sweaty jittery. I asked her if she was alright and she hung her head and said ill be ok.when i get my medicine. She was obviously in withdrawls. And i thought that could be me in ten years. And i deffinatly don't want to look like that.

When he wrote me that script. I ripped it up in front of him and put it in the trash. I told him.i won't be back. He said well see.

This confirms he's a quack. I knew he lost his licence once. That's why i went to him.  When i saw him in the beginning i was already addicted to loratabs. I was taking 10 plus. I convinced a very kind doctor i needed pain management. And gave him the doctors name. I did my research before hand.

When we get to pain management we are already addicted. Plain and.simple. Doctors pass us off to the next guy in line. And if you have a valid issue the skys the limit in pain management.

Anyways i wanted to.share the deep dept of heavy addiction with curropt doctors. Im proud of your willpower. Don't you feel.so.strong and.proud of yourself? You deserve to celebrate. Splurg on yourself.
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1979360 tn?1328143865
good for you!!!
Helpful - 0
Avatar universal
Thank you - although I really did not want to make you cry!

I smoke, so that's gonna probably induce a stroke and kill me soon enough, but I seriously doubt not taking any more hydrocodone will finish me off... and actually, once I calmed down somewhat, I decided for myself that the doc can go eff himself.  Ok, so he has the medical degree, and knows more about medicine than I ever will.  BUT, I do know my body and if have been off of the pills completely since the 16th and I really have no desire to start taking 4 a day, just to go through the same stupid s***t I have already gone through.  So stuff it - I am not following his direction because at this point in time, I know that if I pick up the script, I will be right back to square one... and I can't allow that to happen!

Dani  :)
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1979360 tn?1328143865
can i just tell you that i read your original post above and cried like a little baby as i read the words you typed out? you sound like you went through the same thing so many of us have. but reading it, from and by someone else, really plays a toll on you.

my doctor tried to do the same thing with me, in giving me a script for a certain amount and taper me down slowly once i was honest enough with him AND myself about being an addict, but i did what you did and went CT off the pills. i am not sure about the seizures and what not, but i didn't go through them. but then again, i am also not a physician of any sort.

stay strong and do what your heart and mind tells you is best.
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Avatar universal
And now for what happened to  me today...

I had my doc appointment, and I went in and told him everything.  Including the humiliating experience I had at the urgent care.  I told my doc that I had "tapered down" and the last 1/2 a pill I had taken on Jan. 16th.  And he said I was stupid for getting of this medicine without medical supervision.  I told him I was actually doing ok, other than the restless legs and difficulty sleeping at night.  He told me people get seizures for doing this cold turkey and I was still at risk for not only seizures, but also I could have a stroke.  He then left the room for about 5 minutes, and when he came back in, informed that he had called over to Walgreens a script for 120, and he wants me to start taking 4 a day, and then go and see him next month, for a script of 90.

What the effing eff is wrong with this Quack???????  I TOLD him I do NOT want to take ANY more - I even told him I still have the other half left over and was proud of not taking it- and he is "threatening" me with seizures and/or a stroke???

I did, however, drive straight home, NOT stopping to pick up the prescription and am home now, absolutely fuming!

And that was my day.
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Avatar universal
Thank you for that.  Every single person on this board has helped me in their own right, and for that, to be given such support from complete strangers, has not only restored my faith in humanity, but also made me realize we should be taking care of each other, no matter what.

This addiction knows no class structure, it does not discriminate against wealth, color nor gender - it affects everyone - and the anonymity behind our user names only means that there is a real person, sitting at a keyboard, trying to help someone in the same predicament.

So, to each and every one of you.  Thank you.  For everything.
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Avatar universal
What great advice........WOW!
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Avatar universal
OK Lost, think about it this way... you have two choices: you can get through this and free yourself from the ball and chain that is hydro or you can plan on taking this **** for the rest of your life. Always wondering what you are going to do when your supply runs out. Asking yourself if you have enough to get through the day when you walk out the door. Associating every activity in your life with the 'feel good' feeling you get from hydro. It ***** getting off this and the mental part is an absolute hell, I will not sugar-coat or downplay it like some of the posts I read on here. Alot of advice and sympathy but right now it feels kind of empty and meaningless to you, doesn't it. I will tell you that the physical stuff of WD will pass in 4-5 days and then you will start to feel better. You will have trouble sleeping for awhile but it will return in time. You may feel like you are going to go insane from lack of sleep but you wont. Your mind is just panicking because it needs the drug and it will do whatever it can to make you take it.
The mental part of this is the worst. For a good 2-4 weeks, you will not want to get out of bed. You will not want to do anything. It is hard to talk to other people because all you can think about is how the hydro will make you feel if you just take one. You just won't give a crap about anyone or anything, including your own family because all you want is the horrible sense of depression and apathy to go away... and it won't.
Now, if all this sounds like the worst of the worst, it is. You have got yourself addicted to a drug that is eating your life away.


Here is the good news. The absolute hell that you are/will go through will pass. Physical symptoms- 3-4 days... diarrhea- 2-3 weeks... sleep- who knows. It may return to normal in a couple of weeks(doubt it) or it may take a couple of months(likely). You will NOT lose your mind from lack of sleep. You may feel a little tired all the time but your mind will put you to sleep when you need it, even if it is only for an hour. Take what you can get.

All of these comments from people will not help ease the pain of what you will have to endure. Right now they are empty words with no meaning because of what you are going through, not because they don't care. But what these comments should mean to you is that there are alot of people who have been EXACTLY where you are right now and they came out on the other side. I have been through my hell and I would be lying if I said I didn't want to experience that euphoria hydro gives you. But every day that passes makes that desire a little weaker and embracing a life not shackled to a pill a little stronger.

Message me if you need advice on the reality of getting through this.
Helpful - 0
1979360 tn?1328143865
if i were you, i would just flush the last half of pill.
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Avatar universal
Hi Lulu!
I am hanging in there - albeit by a thread.  I have my doc appointment tomorrow morning and will wait and see what happens.  I don't know why, but having that half a pill gives me a weird feeling...it's almost like a security blanket - a stupid, evil blue security blanket.
I don't actually have access to a sauna - and it is a little too chilly to go in the pool right now, but I did make a bowl full of steaming hot water, added tee tree oil, and inhaled - like I do when I have a cold.  But the cough persists, but I am actually ok with it, if that's all I have to deal with.
I was advised recently by a wonderful member of this board that I should speak to my doc about being depressed - because after thinking aboiut everything, I think that is exactly what the problem is.
So, tomorrow at my doc's, I will have a chat with him about a couple of things - still unsure though, about telling him about my urgent care fiasco...but I will definitely keep you posted.
Thank you, from the bottom of my heart!

Dani
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