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[B]Backstory:[/B] I was dx'd with fibromyalgia in 1993. Went through the usual: Elavil, 800mg ibuprofen x 6/day (three duodenal cap ulcers...not supposed to take nsaids ever again), Flexeril, Wellbutrin, Buspar, Cymbalta, Lyrica, Neurontin, Effexor (drug from hell) and a few others I've been happy to forget. Tried massage, yoga, stretch and spray, chiropractic, homeopathy, neuropathy. My fms presents with extraordinary pain. I've been fortunate that many of the other symptoms passed me by.

Sleep, however, was a huge issue for me. Sleep had eluded me most of my life. I tried everything from magnesium to valerian to melatonin and finally in 2000 I started on 1mg Xanax at night before bed. Changed my sleep for the better.

Still, by 2001, I had gained 80 pounds (265) from the assorted drugs and was no further in having a life with my family or pain relief. My primary doc (a DO) finally went out on a limb and prescribed 5mg Vicodin for me. Long story short, drug changes and titrates up, by December 2009 I was taking 60mg Oxycontin x 2/day and oxycodone (IR) 30mg x 3/day (she had me on the 80s but I felt they were too strong, so we backed it down to 60s, but they only last 7 hours for me, thus the IRs.) In three years of being on Oxy I became a different person. I lost 115 pounds, started running and working out, began a small business that required a lot of physical exertion. I was a happy, happy camper.

As an aside, I have always been accountable for every single pill I put in my mouth. I have always kept a journal with the time and the medication I took, including thyroid and vitamins. My doctor has never had a problem trusting me.

In August of 2009 my husband of 26 years decided he wasn't happy any more and left. His job hopping left me without health insurance and my business wasn't making enough to cover it. I found a prescription assistance program online, but the cost of the medications I was taking were still obscene. The O/C 60s were almost $800/month. At that point, my doctor switched me to all short-acting oxycodone, 30mg x 8/day. As long as I was careful with the timing, it wasn't a problem. and since I try to listen to my body, there were days when I would only need 5 or 6.

By January 2010 I couldn't afford to keep my house. There were no jobs in the northern MI town I lived in, so rather than lose the house I rented it out and moved to Louisiana with my daughter and son-in-law. My dear doctor continued to write my prescriptions and mail them (controlled substance can't be faxed or called...special paper and all that.) But with the February 2011 rx was a note saying that this was the last one because it'd been a year since she'd seen me and I was out of state.

[B]The problem:[/B] As an act of mercy she wrote one more for 150 pills April 7th. I managed to cut back and cut back to make them last. With each cutback I gained weight, saw a concommitant increase in pain and a decrease in activity and motivation. Optimal does was 240mg/day but I knew I couldn't take them that way and make them last. When I filled it in April I started at 120-150mg/day, then 90-120mg in May. June was 60-90mg. July was 45-60mg/day. Today I have 3 pills left, cut into 7.5mg quarters. And that's what brings me here.

I have set a final taper to last this week. I'm at 4 x 7.5 today, 2 days of 3 x 7.5 and so on. Monday will be the last day with only one 7.5mg dose. I am taking 800mg ibuprofen twice a day (despite the ulcer risk) to take the edge off. I still have enough xanax that I can take it with the ibu and also at night, though within four weeks that will be gone too, and my understanding is that I need a much longer taper on clue how I'm gonna manage it.

I have no money (okay. I've got $27.83 in my checking account) and no income, no insurance, and specifically, no doctor. I'm in Louisiana. The first time I can be seen at LSU's Family Medicine Clinic is MARCH 2012! The charity clinics will not see me because I don't have a Louisiana driver's license (which, if I was inclined to get I can't afford right now.) I am essentially up the creek.

I've never misused or abused medication. I don't drink or smoke. I don't take anything that isn't prescribed. Sadly, I'm a middleclass, middleaged woman who's fallen through the health care cracks.

If you've managed to get this far, here's my question: what am I in for after I take the last dose? Have I tapered sufficiently that I'm not going to have a horrid time? (I have a 3yo grandson too, who spends much of the day with me. Is this something I don't want him to see?)

I've started taking my B100 twice a day and added a second dose of 500mg magnesium with it. I'm considering starting melatonin because my sleep has been disrupted since I dropped to below 120mg/day...any issues with the xanax and melatonin?

Thanks in advance for all your help. I've been a lurker on the healthboards for many, many years and learned so much from y'all.

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