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Thanks for the reply Lain,

I'm actually half way through my taper now, under the guidance of my pain clinic doc. He thought it was an excellent idea to try tapering off and see how I manage my pain without analgesia. He recommended using clonodine to help with the withdrawal anxieties, you know the feeling... coming out of your skin... and it helps enormously. He thought Soboxone didn't seem to be very helpful, and besides you need to be in full blown withdrawals before they can start you in it, and in my case, there was no point in putting me through that as I'm not psychologically addicted. And there really is a difference. If I was addicted to anything, it was the pain relief the meds offered. I am actually really grateful for my pain meds, for they gave me the time I needed to make friends with the pain without it killing me. You know trigeminal neuralgia is also called "suicide disease" as the pain is so severe. In my opinion opiates are a stopgap to buy one time while you learn how to live with pain; or do allow you to die without pain. They are not a good long term plan!

When all this started, I came out of a sinus surgery that was supposed to fix the face and teeth pain I had. Instead I awoke after surgery in horrible pain about 8x worse than before. They prescribed percocet to manage the pain while I healed. Problem is that my body healed but my trigeminal nerve decided to just keep on transmitting the pain at the same enormous level. As I went from doc to doc trying to figure out what the hell went wrong, I survived day by day on percocet until after seeing a trigeminal neurologist nearly a year later, I was sent to a pain clinic, already dependent and still in horrible pain and facing extraordinary desperation. I also lost my home in the process and ended up in public housing, a read bummer in itself.

Indeed it was my desperation to avoid the pain and all the anxiety and fear it created that caused me to take the meds. It was literally as if I awoke in a nightmare that was waking reality. The pain was to bad, as was my mental health after the onslaught of drugs the pain clinic threw at me I was considering refusing food and dying, as living with such pain was just not an option.

The problem with opiate pain meds is that those first few weeks they work really well controlling pain. But after that everything slowly only gets worse and worse. Higher doses, worse side effects, greater lifestyle limitations. Only after a few years so you realize what has happened.

Fast forward five years... I've made friends with the pain and learned to live with it and even meditate extremely well with it, I can meditate on it now without aversion. (At least at 50mcg, I still have to see how I do free of meds, but I remain very hopeful and confident it will be just fine.) My problem was my anxiety and adversion to the pain than the pain itself.

Thanks for your thoughts. I'll be done with this process in another 20 days, as I am tapering down quite comfortable at 10% every six days. slow is indeed the best way to go. Other than being tired and feeling heavy, it's okay. It is inspiring to hear how much better you feel once off the meds. I am looking forward to a wonderful fall in NW Oregon mountains where I live.


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