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I am embarrassed to be starting yet another thread about trying to taper from oxycodone. I've tried twice before (May 08 and Mar 09), documented my progress on two separate threads here, had all kinds of support and was very optimistic....then failed both times. Hence, I am reluctant to even write about it again for fear of disappointing everyone; yet, I feel I must. The only way I can get through this successfully is to learn from my past mistakes. I went back over my old posts and it was actually very revealing. I wanted to see how far I got in those attempts, and how I felt, and what made me fail. Therefore, I hope you don't mind that I'm posting my thoughts as I go down this path again.

Quick background: I'm 59 and have been on oxycodone for severe degenerative disk disease since '03. Had diskectomy (surgery) in '04 -- didn't help. Despite a history of heroin/methadone addiction (which I didn't share with my doctors), I accepted their scrips for Percocet. Started off with one 5mg pill each night; over the years it's progressed up to 60-75 mg per day of oxycodone. Here are some of the many reasons I want off:

[LIST]
[*]It doesn't really relieve the pain; sure, it dulls it a little....but the amount I need to "dull" the pain gets progressively higher and higher.
[*]My whole life and personality have changed. It could be pain-related depression (plus some other family stressors), but I've got to think the endorphin-suppressing narcotic is responsible in some way. I'm miserable; no joy in life; withdrawn from society; hate everything and everybody, including myself. I don't even like most foods anymore. My stomach is a mess. I can rarely think of anything to eat that I'd enjoy.
[*]My life revolves around the pills. I can't get out of bed 'til I have it. The pills control where I go; whether I can travel; heck, where I LIVE (what if I can't find a doctor willing to write for my usual amount)? I always have to make sure I have enough with me. I usually take the whole bottle with me -- what if I'm delayed or in an accident and can't get home in time for my next dose? Better to just have the whole scrip with me.
[*]I have no energy to do anything. Everything is overwhelming. Bills and other important things are falling behind.
[*]I hate how I feel on them. Yes, they used to make me feel good and give me energy. Now, I don't get the energy boost; just feel a flushed/sweaty feeling and then kind of a "downer" effect. I feel like they're constantly pushing me down....hard to explain, but I know this: If they're not killing the pain, and not making me feel good, then what's the point?
[/LIST]

So, I'll try to wrap this up -- here's where I am with the taper:

[LIST]
[*]I told my PM I was trying to taper off, so he accommodated me (!) by reducing my monthly scrip by 500% (from 2250 mg to 450 mg). Eeek, I wasn't expecting that! But it forced me into a rapid reduction.
[*]I started 9 days ago at approx 38 mg. I felt pretty darn bad, as that was a sudden 50% reduction from my usual 70-75 mg.
[*]I've tapered down to approx 21 mg today (assuming I finish the day successfully). I've extended my dosing schedule and reduced the mg per dose. I'm not a ball of energy, and I'm still feeling weird and shaky and headachy, but I feel much better than this time last week when I could barely move.
[*]I have a big weekend event coming up, so this will be the true test. In past attempts, I have used big events as the excuse for failing, because I didn't have the energy to handle them without my usual dose of oxy.
[*]I don't want to do any other major reductions until after this weekend, but I will still be trying to taper a mg at a time. I do not want to lose momentum. Nor do I want to drag this out for weeks.
[/LIST]

So that's where I am. I don't know what I'm going to do about the pain, but I can no longer stand my life the way it is. (Oh, and Brian, I am also looking into a spinal cord implant stimulator...I have a consult next week. That's now another "event" I have to worry about....I hope I am up to it.)





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