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Hello Spidey

Buddy, I know it is still hard after five months. The truth is that it takes a full year to really have the body straighten out after detox and withdrawal. I believe this is true whether taper or cold turkey is employed. For me, when the tapers finally ended in June, I still experienced withdrawal symptoms. As for you, they certainly were not as debilitating as when I was tapering in the beeginning, but a hinderance to quality of life at times. The shivers, sweats, anxiety and agitation... yes, I understand. It is now October... I am around the year mark this week. Geeze, a year! Sleeplessness still plagues me, but the other symptoms are basically gone. A long time ago, Phil, an oldtimer before us, wrote that it takes a full year to totally be done with withdrawal and all. I nthought when I read it, "A year???? A YEAR???? A whole damn year???? I will never be able to do this." But the year has passed, Buddy, and most of the symptoms are totally gone. While some nights sleep eveades me, more and more nights I am starting to fall asleep and sleep through the night. Last night I did. Smiles.

Pain. Yes, Lou, withdrawal does not mean an end to the original pain we had, although for me the pain is less than I experienced on the drugs. Truly.

I have had to reevaluate how I think about pain. I had to learn to rethink, "What actually is a ten? Is it really only a six and in my want to be totally painfree, I am exaggerating it to be a ten? Is my mind messing with me a bit here?" To try and counter the pain, I actually have learned to accept that it is going to be a part of my life and I do little things to help cope with it. I wear good supportive shoes now so as not to put any extra stress on my leg. ( I had lost part of the thigh to cancer for those who are new). I take the time to ice and then apply heat when I am hurting. I do the exercises regularly that keep the remaining muscle strong. I use massage therapy. And I [U]try[/U] to do these things with as much dedication as I used when I took the meds. Are you wearing a neck brace to help support the neck? Have you spoken with the doctor about physical therapy techniques that could help? Have you tried holistic supplements such as magnesium for the pain? ( It does help so much with the nerve damage!).

I know my life situation with my work now (private home.. a "grandnanny" sort of a few hours four days a week) lends itself to getting off my feet when need be and that your work is not as conducive to this pampering. however, on your break or lunch time, can you take advantage of the time to lay flat for 20 minutes or so and give the back and neck some needed relief? It could help you through the rest of the day.

Pain [U]does[/U] hurt emotionally as well as physically, Spidey. We have to be careful always to be aware of it not dragging us down into depression. Please try or at least consider some of the things I have mentioned. I think it is dangerous to use meds just so we can push our bodies harder by masking the pain (See? I told you my thinking has changed. Chuckles). I believe we need to listen, really listen, to the pain from our bodies and take concrete steps such as a short rest when the pain levels soar. I know your work requires many hours of standing on your feet. Lou? Is this the best job for you? Is it a job that is going to force you back into the drug merry-go-round? I know you love your job, I know how good you are at it, I know management respects you and had promoted you. However, I also firmly know, and accept fully now, that we have but one go-round in this lifetime. We need to concentrate most fully on the quality of our lives and do what we must to accomodate whatever it takes for quality. For me to have to leave work I loved for so many, many years, waas devastating to me. However, while the door closed to some degree on that work, it has opened up so wide to me in similar work. And opportunities to teach are coming to me left and right on small, short duration jobs. In the Spring, I will teach for 8 Saturady mornings working with immigrants ( that was my long time work). Only four hours a morning, which is about the total limit of my stamina at a time. In the Summer, I will teach four hours a morning for 5 straight days. (it will not interfere with my grandnanny work). It will be a push for that week, but I will have the opportunity to do what I love best for a short stint.

So the doors close and open and I go with the flow. I employ the techniques that work for me to get the reprieves from the pain and lessen the levels throughout the day. Reflect on what techniques you can employ, Buddy. reflect on them without letting the depressive thoughts of woe interfere. Pain is woe, it can be a true torment, but when we [U]must[/U] have it in our lives, we must also find coping mechanisms and those mechanisms quite often do not have to involve drugs. They just must be mechanisms that we employ as routinely and steadily as we did prescription meds.

Hugs and hope and still in my heart

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