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Hey all I hope this finds you well,

Great idea for a thread, seeing as this is exactly the topic I seem to research incessantly now! I'm embarking on day 6 (which seemed liked an eternity at the 4 hour mark and with the insomnia it was -- kinda like every day was two days when you never sleep) of leaving a 2+ year dependence to Morphine Extended Release (1 60MG a day) and Mophine Instant Release for break thru in the evening (1 15MG a night). Never broke, snorted, or chewed. Never took more, but I damn sure never took less! These were prescribed by my (now former) doctor to combat MCTD and Fibro.

It was right before the 4th of July weekend that I realized I couldn't possibly be in enough pain to justify such an existence. In the beginning I felt great (sound familiar) but about 8 months ago I became sullen, depressed, and withdrawn. I didn't want to do anything and I certainly didn't feel better anymore. Still I took the pills like clockwork, because, well that rising feeling of sickness began to creep up on me when I didn't. When that happened I knew this wasn't right. Prior to the morphine I was taking, get this, a single 7.5 vicodin per day. That's right kids, one pill a day. Then my doc decided my pain wasn't being effectively managed with vicodin and moved me to morphine at the dosage above. Yep I jumped from 1 7.5 to THAT!!! I had no idea morphine was basically the same thing so I didn't realize we just went off the charts with that increase. God do I regret not researching his decision before I agreed. The worst part was when I called him on Friday the 1st to tell him about my concerns and told him I wanted to quit. He freaked! He conferenced in my physical therapist (same clinic) and they advised I stay on it, but if I insisted of quitting morphine then they wanted me to try OXYCOTIN!!! Talk about not listening to the concerns of the patient. "Hey Large, I know you said you want to quit and I got just the thing HillBilly Heroin!" Yeah I quickly put the idea to rest and said NO NARCOTICS!. OXY, yeah that's all I needed.

So on Saturday morning I took my last pill and 12 hours later the withdrawal began. Saturday night was awful, but Sunday was so bad that I barely remember anything. Of course my definition of "awful" may be different than yours, I am a big baby so there's that. I kept waiting for my Trainspotting moment in a bathroom, but it never came. The worst was the chills, sweats, aches, writhing, and the restless EVERYTHING. I was twitching worse than Michael J Fox and Joe Cocker combined. Arms and legs everywhere. I kept thinking about how badly I wanted to beat this...and sleep! I had/have ZERO cravings though. Despite how bad it was it the first two days I kept coming around these boards to see how others were coping and it really inspired me to keep going as I read story after story of people who went to war with a far larger demon than I. My favorite thing was probably the daily updates for those just coming through cold turkey as they chronicled their progress it made me feel like I could keep going when my brain started to fracture from lack of sleep. To those brave bad [email protected]@es who've made this journey before me and chose to share it, THANK YOU! You literally saved my life.

Once I got to the end of day three I was hit with a sudden feeling of wellness. Alot of the symptoms subsided for half the night. That's when I thought the worst was over...of course I was wrong. I have seen others who fell for that brief rest and thought they'd cleared the hump then crash in day 4 or 5 so I was a little worried then next day when the problems began again and some new ones joined them.

Day four was really bad. I had awful back pain and all the advil in the world wouldn't touch it. Combined with the RSL I was going insane. I hadn't eaten since Friday at midnight so I was subsisting on water and a cup of broth until today, when I finally felt like I could eat without dying. I have never been more tentative approaching a bowl of soup in all my life, but everything turn out okay after I ate. At least I felt like I had some fuel to burn while pacing the floors desperate to get my body back under control and kill the twitching.

Day Five, uuuuuuuuugggggggggghh WHY is this still getting worse? I felt possessed today. My limbs were going everywhere. Seemed worst at night. I start to regret my decision to do this without any other drugs, like valium, but I kept my resolve and pushed ahead because last night, without warning I passed out for 6, SIX!!!! Hours!!!! which seemed like a miracle. I was ready to take on anything after that. Then I landed another 3 and a half hours of sleep and I was practically giddy.Now I was sure I was going to make it, well except for the part where I woke up and a hour later I felt like death. The RSL was the worst today. I could handle anything else, including insomnia if the RSL would just go away. I don't crave pills, I crave peace. Stillness sounded like the most amazing invention ever, yet I couldn't stop crawling out of my skin.

So here I am, entering day 6, I want desperately for this day to be the day I feel better. As I write this I'm still having terrible RSL, I must have stopped to do my little convulsions about 30 times. It sucks, but having read all these posts I do know that it DOES get a little better every day (it's just the night I hate right now). I have read some posts where people have had little withdrawal and at first I was jealous, but then I realized that as much as I hate this I also NEED this. THIS is how I never go back. I couldn't do tapering or sub/bupe, I need cold turkey. I just keep telling myself "30 days for the rest of your life".

Oh an the chronic pain? Well I have SOME, but it is certainly not narcotic worthy now. I'm actually in less pain then I was some days on morphine. I say this knowing there are some of you who simply cannot live a functional life without the relief provided by a narcotic, I am not judging YOUR pain, merely my own. I forgot what pain was I've been so numb emotionally and physically for so long. The first two days I cried so randomly I couldn't believe it, but it was a good thing. I feel like I'm slowly thawing out after being frozen in stasis for two years. I am getting reaquainted with the world and I kinda like it. Clearly I'm back to writing again (sorry about the length here).

Am I better? No. Not yet. But I know, I've heard you all, and I know I will be as long as I never look back. I will NOT be a relapse story, and this isn't because I'm strong, just the opposite, it is because I am weak that I will not relapse. I hate this pain and I simply never want to feel this way again. NOTHING could make me go through this again. When the going gets tough the tough get in their car, open the roof, crank up their favorite songs, and drive until the feelings pass. Speaking of songs, wow music after quitting suddenly becomes so alive again. I'd forgotten how a beautiful song could make my day. Check out Iron and Wine's "The Trapeze Swinger" when you can, it is amazing, at least check out the lyrics (

So if you are reading this on day one, or two or day zero because you haven't made the leap yet, just know that everyone responds differently. No matter how bad you think it will be, it never is. I was terrified to do this, but is has been so much less than I imagined. I felt foolish for waiting so long truth be told. There isn't a magic bullet though and you have to decide you want this. Methadone may be right for some, but please do yourself a favor and research the drug before you take it. Same with Sub. Don't let fear pull you in to another problem. Maintenence isn't the same as living clean, and if you think, even a little, that you might be able to do this then dive in. The water isn't nearly as cold or deep as you think as you just might find you're a better swimmer than you thought once you get your head in.

Yeah okay, I see the pilot has just turned on the "NO RAMBLING" sign so I'm shuttin up now (and this was my condensed version!) more info about me (as if you needed it) is in my bio and so is my email. Thanks for listening and after lurking for a while, thanks for helping me get through the rough spots.
Hey Joan,

I'm not even sure why I felt so strongly about this when I did. 8 months ago I was fully prepared to spend the rest of my life of some variation of morphine. I certainly didn't expect to wake up one day with the resolve and desire to do this. I think lurking here basically made me fear for my life and it also forced me to admit that I was definitely addicted and definitely enjoyed that buzz. Since it has been so long since I had a buzz I wonder if maybe the long term mental effects will be lessened. Another reason I wanted out is I felt it was draining me of me. My passion has always flowed creatively and the well had run dry (I'm convinced this is how good shows go bad so fast) and I just felt like an echo of my former self. I never wanted to do anything anymore so slowly my social circle dwindled because I hated going out and I was never this guy before. I'm only 30 and I felt like I may as well buy a pair of white leather shoes and pack it in.

So morphine is worse than Oxy? Well aren't I stupid. My doctor wanted to transition me off morphine with Oxy. I said no. On the other hand I have no idea how I would have handled something with a peak. So I guess this was the right course, just painful. I honestly expected so much worse. Today I've felt pretty good, the best I've felt yet. I even ate, which is good because I'm starting to look like a Paris runway model with the gaunt face, black circles, and bone peaking through skin. Not a pretty sight. I didn't exactly take care of myself during this detox. 7 days with nothing but 2 cans of soup and one half pb sandwhich is hardly the recomended diet. My stomach was fine, I literally just had no appetite so I forgot to eat. The lessson is, as always, I am an idiot.

Day 4...*shudders* no thanks. Were it not for the magic of television I would never have made it past day 4. So I'd like to say a quick thank you to Sly Stallone for making highly watchable movie "Over the Top", because I'm not sure how I would have faired if I hadn't flipped past that and got to watch him arm wrestle his way in getting custody of his kid and a new truck. Come on a movie about arm wrestling people! It doesn't get better than that. I've decided to solve all of my problems by arm wrestling them out from now on. I've never laughed harder in my whole life. I think I'll produce a Best of DVD with Sly's "dramatic" moments because it the perfect cure for depression. If you can't laugh at that acting you'll never laugh at anything. Don't worry I will definitely leave that song "Meet me halfway across the sky" in the scenes. If you've never seen this movie, add it to your Netflix list. You can thank me later. (By the way, am I the only one who looks back and has like one defining movie for each day going through this?)

Day 5 was no peach, but 4 surprised me so I think that's why it bothered me more. By day 5 I was just sort of angry at this, which seemed to cement my resolve.

Day 6? I want to marry Day 6. I want to take this day to a nice little bistro, get it a little drunk, take it home, and I need some sleep. Seriously, this has been the best day. Even if 7 is hell I will be stronger just having had some relief from the constant aches, twitches, and pain today. Of course I'm not getting any sleep, but I couldn't care less about that right now. Besides after I wake up I feel more restless so maybe insomnia is a good thing. Of course if you would have told me it would be day 6 before I really felt almost kinda sorta normal, well I'm not sure I could have done it. I always thought it would be day 3 or 4 and when you don't sleep two extra days feels like four days.

I'm curious what happens to you on day 10 that pushes you over the edge, Joan? Is this a common bad day for most? Also were you taking much more MS Contin than me (60 ER/15 IR)?

I should probably mention that as a chronic pain patient I expected to be in intense pain because this is what my brain told me any time I was late with a dose. Today though even though my back is sore all of the other problem pain areas actually don't hurt at all. Not even a little. I kind of wondered if that would happen. Things that I developed on the Morphine also are leaving with it. Joan, was pain the starting point for you on this road too? And did you also just stop or would try tapering first (no way I could taper).

"Hope is a good thing, maybe the best of things. And no good thing ever dies."

300MG??? Joan I wouldn't have made it past 4 minutes if I had gotten that high up. Wow. No I just have to say it again...Wow. Lucky indeed, I thought respiratory distress would kick in by then.

And here you are at 18 (look time travel) days. Awesome.

I've given very little thought to what I will do for pain after the withdrawal is over. I'm probably being a little too Pollyanna but I keep kinda hoping that maybe over the last two years things healed up and the pain I will be left with will be tolerable. In withdrawal the only thing you care about is, well, withdrawal. I've not even begun facing the living, but I will begin to come Monday. I'm nervous about that part. Right now I've got it pretty easy or did the 30-something posts in less than 19 hours already give that away?

Re: Detox time line
Jul 25, 2005

First let me thank everyone for these great posts. I normally hang out at the back board, as I have cervical and lumbar ruptured discs. I saw the doctor on Wednesday and told him that I was taking 10-12 tablets of Tramadol ACET 37.5 (also called Ultracet) and that they were stopping the pain. His reply was that I was not taking too much and that no one ever died from pain (what a jerk). Luckily, I have only been taking these and hydro for 6 months and just raised the dose in the past month.

So I decided on Friday to stop cold turkey. After a somewhat miserable weekend, I decided to do a search and found this thread. I have been lucky compared to many. I have had alternating chills and then sweats, watering eyes, stomach is bothering me some and sleep has been vivid dreaming, with a lot of waking due to the chills. My appetite has been fine, which seems totally opposite of most.

I hate to think that the withdrawal symptoms are not done, but at least I am in day 4 and feeling well enough to focus on my computer. The great news is that the back pain is no different.

Any advice on Ultracet withdrawal would be appreciated.

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