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New here, off methadone 4 weeks, will I ever sleep well again?

Discussion in 'Detoxing from Methadone' started by Andy1, May 2, 2012.

  1. Andy1

    Andy1 Well-Known Member

    Movazi, you're probably right about the meds and which ones would be best. I told the person-in-scrubs at the doctor's office what my blood pressure was, and that my heart rate had been between 90 and 130 for the past 2 days. They didn't seem concerned and said the next appointment open was the 24th. I forget that people in scrubs don't necessarily have any medical training. My blood pressure is down a bit now, and I do check it regularly so I'm pretty sure its just the w/d. Pain can make it go up too, but my back hasn't been that bad lately. If it goes back up, I'll go to a doc-in-the-box or call the clinic back. Thank you for your concern, its nice that you care.
  2. pameather

    pameather Well-Known Member

  3. pameather

    pameather Well-Known Member

    K hello Andrea,I didn't leave ya hun,I just have been in no mood to post here, I am NOT doing well on this stex,it is nasty nasty stuff,and I'm not even taking much,1 mg mayby? IDK.. its making me sick,and still have minor wd's,so I am still going threw deprssion from methdone I BELIEVE because I dont think I ever really gave my self a GOOD amount of time to get threw those wd's.. How is your sleeping coming along?

    Just wanted to pop in,and let you know I'm still hanging with you?
    not feeling well so short message sorry. Hope your doing better
  4. Andy1

    Andy1 Well-Known Member

    Really nice to hear from you, I did figure you were busy .. maybe even had a life ;)
    I'm sorry you're having a hard time. A good friend is on subox at something like 0.5 and I definitely see it. THAT is one strong drug. Give yourself credit Pammy, you're keeping at it! Don't give in, don't give up. I care about you and how you're doing ...
    I'm getting about the same sleep, but its okay now. I'm not fighting it, I actually do feel rested during the day -- except when I take benedryl. Then I"m yawning and sleepy all day. God's being gracious, that's all I can come up with. Of course I could complain about some of the symptoms that are driving me nuts, but the extra back pain - that's calmed way down. I think my brain was trying to get me to give it more methadone, or something if that makes sense. I didn't give in (it really p*ssed me off) and though it took a few weeks its calmed way down!
    'bye for now Pammy.
  5. mtlgtrst1

    mtlgtrst1 Well-Known Member

    Andy, to answer your question, "yes" you will sleep normally again :)
  6. Andy1

    Andy1 Well-Known Member

    Thanks mtlgtrst1, I did kinda figure that .. lol. It just doesn't feel that way sometimes.

    Today is harder than its been in a while. We had a low pressure system that's been hanging overhead and that makes my back feel like squirrels with sharp claws are running up and down inside my lower spine. Hence 'squirrely'. Sometimes its easier to surrender than others. Today I am fighting and having a bad attitude. The usual non medical things didn't help, and sometimes when my back is acting up I do dumb things .. like weed wacking (the weed wacker only weighs 5 lbs) or picking up dog poop. I guess since I'm in pain already, and getting angry, I figure I might as well go get something done. Not smart usually, but if I didn't do that nothing would get done. Or so it seems to me.

    I don't know how much my back pain is being affected by withdrawal and how much is "purely" my back.

    On the plus side, I actually got more than 6 hours sleep, only mildly interrupted. Sheesh, am I never satisfied? :eek: I b*tch about no sleep and when I do get sleep I am still not happy. pththt!
  7. pameather

    pameather Well-Known Member

    I DID IT Andrea,I worked today,and TOOK NOTHING,and allthough,I have now just a runny nose,and REAL bad back pains,and just a few shakes in my legs,and hands today,and I CRIED 3 times,and cold chills,and had 3 hours sleep last night,but mentally I am OK,no real derpression to speak of YET!!!!!!!!,I am exspecting the worse is NOT here yet,and I know this,but today is going good SO FAR.... I let it all go to my GOD,and I believe I preformed better at work today too. I know its not over though,waiting for the big storm to come :(.... I know I am not getting away with the easy way out :(.. HANG TIGHT GAL,HANG TIGHT,and LETS GET THROUGH THIS TODAY!!!!!!!!!
  8. Andy1

    Andy1 Well-Known Member

    Hey Pammy, I replied on your thread but wanted to encourage you. Sub is different from Methadone, but they are both long acting. YOU can do this! I know you can! Turn it over to God, remember the serenity prayer, be good to yourself. We have a hot tub and that helped my back a LOT. Hot showers help too. Vitamin C, over the counter pain relievers - Aleve helps most people, and it lasts a long time. Tylenol works better for me. There's a spray called Kool N Fit (menthol mostly) that has been a great help for my back too. It gives 20-30 minutes of relief every time. Just having a break is lovely.

    I went to 12 step meetings and the first few .. I just cried through. Not the sobbing type, just tears I couldn't stop. I learned to bring kleenex. I've asked for advise about various things (mostly asking after the meeting), and even when people don't say what I'd hoped, somehow it gets better anyway. That's gotta be the God stuff. Hang in there Pammy!

    Let me know how its going please. You know a lot of us here care.
  9. pameather

    pameather Well-Known Member

    Thank you Andrea!

    I care too,well I had to get back to my taper today,I really dont want to screw it up,but let me tell you with me taking nothing yesterday,I felt human again,and did today too. I dont understand this stex,its totally different than methadone for me anyways,I feel stex is giving me more pain than anything,I thought my pain was bad on methadone NO WAY!!! this stex pain is worse.stex sure aint no damn pain killer,or maby my stex dose aint high enuff to get rid of pain,anyways I dont mind the pain I had it so freakn long.Well went to work,and by the time I got their I still had not taken my dose (5/.5mgs whatever that is??),and when I started working,I just couldnt lift myself,felt like I weighed 300 LBS,and all my co worker knew THEY JUST KNEW something was wrong,and different with me today,cuz they kept asking you ok pam,so I took my dose,and worked.... I did take trazadone last night,and slept all night FINALLY,mayby thats why I felt like sluggish this morning IDK..... I HATE THIS ****!!!!! been trying to get off opes since 2006,and its getting old. HOW YOU DOING??? Ya say that kool kit works aye? I'm so use to the pain its almost normal to me.

    I'll be back to check on ya

    hugz pammy OH YEAH how long off mdone now are ya?
  10. Andy1

    Andy1 Well-Known Member

    Today's May 14, and I quit (after tapering) April 4 so - 5 weeks, 5 days so far.
    Night before last was the worst in awhile. 2 hours sleep, and that heebie-jeebie thing in my lower spine & right leg (mostly). Yesterday was pretty bad, but I got a few things done. Light picking up and cleaning countertops, that sort of thing. I tried to be careful not to overdo it. It seems that when my back is bothering me I either do nothing (and am miserable) or I overdo it. That actually feels good in the moment; I may be in pain, but I'm p*ssed off also which sort of trumps the pain. What does NOT work about that is how I feel afterwards. It ends up hurting a lot more. :mad:

    Last night started out worse, and I took a whole Norco. Its just the second time since detoxing I've done that. I've used half a Norco about 10 times. I went to bed early, before 8:00pm. I slept for 3 hours then just was not going to sleep at all no matter what - or that's how it felt. My husband sprayed my back and leg with Kool-n-Fit and I went back to bed. I slept off and on until 5am. I would have thought I was awake most of the night, but the clock kept jumping forward and I'm not exhausted. My perception of sleep is not accurate. This is probably boring stuff, but I need to write it so I can look at it later and see that there is progress!
    Since about a week after going off methadone altogether, I keep wanting to (feels like I HAVE to) stretch my lower leg out (I'm a side-sleeper). Having that leg straight feels better in the moment, but it does something to my lower back that ends up "making me" kick and want to scream. Sort of a d*mned if you do and d*mned if you don't thing.

    The one thing I wish I could change most would be to lower my freaking blood pressure. I do have a doctor's appointment, but won't be able to see him until the 24th. In nursing school, they emphasized that high blood pressure has no symptoms, hence it is called 'the silent killer'. If its reasonably quiet, I can hear my heartbeat. When my diastolic (the bottom number) is high, I can hear both beats - instead of Swoosh, Swoosh, Swoosh, its SWoosh-swoosh, SWoosh-swoosh. My heartrate USED to be 67 when resting. Now its 90+ more often than not, and sometimes is over 130 when I'm trying to sleep. Either the blood pressure or the heart rate leads to my whole body flushing and feeling like it suddenly got to be 200 degrees. Its a lot like a full-body hot flash, except that my face doesn't drip with sweat. No wonder I'm not sleeping! Maybe writing some of this here will help.
    I knew going off methadone wouldn't be fun. I guess I thought by now (almost 6 weeks off) it would be almost finished. Apparently I was wrong. :wink:

    Would it have been easier if I'd tapered more slowly towards the end? The protocol I was going by suggested stepping down every 3-7 days. It took 2 to 21/2 days for my body to feel each drop. I got impatient and, except for once, dropped every 3 days. I would get little sleep and be ticked off enough to refuse NOT tapering the next day. At this point, I'm really grateful I stayed at 12.5 mg (half a tablet, 5x a day) for a month. I'm thinking this would be worse if my body hadn't adjusted to that dose before I continued tapering. I don't really know, of course.

    I keep trying to surrender all of it to God, but I'm not very good at it.

    What helped:
    Norco :mad:,
    Kool-N-Fit spray,
    An extra pillow so I could keep my face cool,
    A supportive husband who can handle me b*tching,
    Foam earplugs (to tune out the neighbor's barking dogs).
    Doing my best to relax without 'fighting'.
    Last edited: May 14, 2012
  11. Andy1

    Andy1 Well-Known Member

    Yesterday evening the weather broke. I hadn't realized there was a low pressure system moving in, and once it got here my back was so much better! I slept for 4 1/2 hours straight (longest single block of times so far) and slept at least another hour before morning. That's pretty good! My blood pressure's down to just 'high' at 143/94. That isn't great, but it isn't scarey high. For anyone else reading this, if your blood pressure spikes like mine did (the bottom number over 100) call your doctor. If its higher than that, call him back again. If you have any one of several things going on in your body, most of which you'd never know about, you can have a stroke or worse. Yes there is worse. I was being stubborn is a way that was not smart at all -- I'd never let someone I care about ignore their blood pressure like I did mine -- especially if its not normal for them. Just sayin'.
  12. Andy1

    Andy1 Well-Known Member

    Okay, 6 weeks clean today. Last night my blood pressure was back up (173/110) and I called the clinic for advise on what to do, mostly because I was feeling sort of stoned all day. Earlier I'd turned to leave a room and literally fell off my shoe. I walked into a wall, miscalculating where the door was - and later into a bookcase. When driving, I was staying in my lane but having a harder time doing it. Something was definitely off. If it had been someone else, I would have told them to get it taken care of long ago. Like many of us, I'm a bit of an idiot when it comes to taking things seriously about myself.

    The clinic told me I shouldn't wait for the next day, but they were closing so I should go to the emergency room. I hate clogging up emergency rooms with non emergencies, but I did call for advise and that's what the nurse said so I went. The Emergency Room was empty so it only took half an hour to get in. Naturally my blood pressure was down (160/94) but the PA ran me through a quick neuro checkup. All is well. He did give me a prescription for a low dose of clonidine though. After he left, an aide came in to check my vital signs before I left. It was back to 166/105. You have no idea how much I wanted to find him and say "see! I wasn't making it up!" That's just me though.

    Anyway, I took the clonidine and I slept about 2 hours, then was awake the rest of the night. I got up at 6am, trying to let it go but feeling frustrated anyway. Maybe there's another pressure system moving in? After soaking in the hot tub and taking care of animals I went back to bed and was able to get another 45 minutes or so of sleep. Sweet heavenly sleep. That last bit made such a tremendous difference.

    Its kind of funny how I'm obsessing about sleep. My back pain is about the same as it was while I was taking methadone. Sometimes I think it might be a little higher, and the nerve pain that goes down my right leg and into my foot is a bit stronger overall, but its no big deal. What I was most worried about though was that when my back gets bad - and it surely did get bad, regardless of drugs - that it would be worse and that suicide would, once again, seem reasonable. THAT has been far from the truth. When my back is acting up, its just the same as when I was taking methadone! It is not any worse. Wow. THAT was a big surprise, and a huge relief.
    Last edited: May 16, 2012
  13. pameather

    pameather Well-Known Member

    WOW hello Andrea!

    I so relate to what your going threw.When I got off mdone I also couldnt walk a stright line,had to hold the walls. I so relate to the driving,white knuckeling it to try to stay in the lines,even to this day I do that,yes weird feeling,and scary.I still am not getting good sleep,and on the damn stex.Still in deprssion,still IN SEVER pain,but just like you I think the pain is minor to the sleep issues,and the depression,GOSH,ISNT thedepression getting to you yet? That hit me hard hard hard for 8 months off of mdone,I also used hydro in the late afternoon LATE,just so I could get some sleep at night,and cook a freakn frozen dinnah.poor hubby!!!!! my ole man is very supportive of me too,and he is not a drug user AT ALL.. just a sober drunk,and he too goes to his meetings,and is doing wonderful today. He drank for the WHOLE 17 years we were together MORNING,NOON,and NIGHT,I had to bye 2 cases of beer EVERYDAY,and they were heavier when you are WDing for sure. He was a good drunk cept for his attitude would change as most do,but he was awful,he didnt beat me though like my other EX's. K back to us. I am having a hard time now deciding on going to a meeting tonight as I FEEL LIKE ****! I go,and I LOOK like I had been drinking,and it shows,I shake,my eyes are red as can be,I cant sit still,I play with the pages in the books,I DO LISTEN THO believe it or not. Oh yeah I been meaning to ask you,HOW LONG were you on mdone? I was 8 years,and it took me 8 months to TOTALY get out of the WHOLE funk of mdone WD's,NOW I'M NOT trying to scare you,as I read here we are all different. When I was in detox the nurse told me I was the sickest patient they had out of all the 200 people that was there,and was on the most meds at the time,but the med part of my stay at detox just lasted a little over 2 weeks,I couldnt handle when I got home so I started the hydros,and was fine on them kind of,but NOW THIS ****!! I'm so ready to switch back to a 10 mg pill a day or at night I should say,and go from there. I also am studying the iboga that bonita is telling me about,VERY INTERESTING,I googled it. I still dont know as much as I want to about the stuff,its outlawed here in USA. HMM I wonder why? Because mayby IT DOES WORK?,and the country will lose money,because it does work? WHO KNOWS I'm just saying.YEAh mayby sounds like I'm looking for an easy way out YEAH I AM! DAMMIT!!!!People say they can work while WDing,HMMM Must be freakn godzilla!!!!!!!!,and I am srong. I get alot of excersise at work,and yeah I agree that helps with depression,but not enough..... How many mg od the clonidine are you taking a day or night? Is the clonidine helping you sleep? Even tho your using the norco's I'M GLAD your off the mdone,but be careful of those too,same goes for me!

    hugz pammy
    I'll be back
  14. Andy1

    Andy1 Well-Known Member

    Hi Pam, thanks for the reply. I was on methadone for 8 years. I have been trying not to take anything at all, and took nothing the first 2 weeks off methadone. I don't think I've taken more than 2 norco a week (that's less than when I was on methadone). Usually I can sleep when I get to bed, but I wake up after a couple of hours. When I can't get back to sleep .. that's when I might take half a norco. I did take a whole one the other night. I know how quickly my body adjusts to opiates, and I am just too freaking scared that I'll start to NEED them to sleep. When that happens, I am scr*wed. You know. Our bodies adjust - and the mind tells us we HAVE to use! There are a hundred good reasons .. sigh.

    That thing in the NA readings, "one is too many and a thousand never enough" is way too true.

    The clonidine is just 0.1mg, when I go to bed.

    I know what you mean about not wanting to go to meetings when we look really bad, but I think that's when I need it the most. The first week I cried every single meeting, sometimes through the whole darn thing. I hate doing that, and tried to be low key about it, but I just made up my mind that I was keeping my butt on that chair NO MATTER WHAT. Being embarrassed isn't as important as my recovery and that's what it was. I still struggle with it - when the weather changes pain comes in waves and either I'm going to leave or I'm going to cry. Its not as bad as it was at first, and I'm just not going to let my ego run me out of the room.

    It helps some when I remind myself 'everyone has their own stuff', and most people are too self absorbed to pay attention to me anyway. :tongue:

    I looked into iboga /ibogaine also. There is some interesting information about it, but there are a lot of people out there who know they can't be sued if they're lying about their program. Do your research, both on the product and (especially) on the clinic. Having a professional looking website and some testimonials doesn't mean jack sh*t. Seems like people often don't sleep much for a time after doing iboga, but it feels fine to them. There is something very different about how it affects the dopamine receptors in the brain. Not having drug cravings for a few months and no withdrawal would be pretty amazing.
  15. peacenik

    peacenik Administrator

    OK Andrea, I know what you're going through too. It's tough. And I appreciate what you shared about how you
    know one is too many......

    So, I support you 100%, but look at the title to your thread, "will I ever sleep well again"? My experience was that I didn't sleep well
    without drugs untill I went through a long enough period doing exactly that.

    There is a mental aspect to PAWS Andrea, and I came to see my addiction as like a living being, who wanted only to get more drugs.
    I believe it takes time to get over the PAWS and it takes acceptance. Your addiction will only set you free when he knows he's been beaten.
    Taking an opiate pill when the PAWS gets bad will only keep that addict inside alive - he'll believe he still has a chance, that one day you'll give up.

    I had a hell of a time with PAWS Andrea, but getting through it was a great lesson and helped me in all I've been through in life since. You
    know what they say, what doesn't kill you makes you stronger :)

  16. Andy1

    Andy1 Well-Known Member

    Dave I sure wish I didn't think there's truth in what you're saying. On methadone or off it my lower back is, shall we say "not fun", especially when high or low pressure systems are moving. Like I've said before, I still use an occasional Norco or Ultram. I think I've been really conservative with what I use (not more than 3 norco a week, Ultram maybe 5x a week) and I keep trying OTC meds first ... though my experience is that they almost never work and with most of them I bleed and bruise way too easily, even when I take Vitamin C several times a day. Which all means... .I think you may be right and I hate it. Crap. Insert more swearing here. Lots more swearing and grumbling. :rolleyes:

    I'm going to go soak in the hot tub now, one of the very few non-narcotic things that helps with my back pain. Thank God for hot tubs, ice packs, menthol sprays, this board, and the caring people who post here. That includes Dave and Pammy .. and everyone.
    Last edited: May 21, 2012
  17. akoola11

    akoola11 Well-Known Member

    Hi Andy,
    I was just reading your thread it sound like you'r having hard time sometimes. Here is what i would recommend for sleeplessness. When i was going through my cleanse i was eating lot of Valerian root about 3 to 5 caps a day and towards night time i had something called moon drops. I forget what web site i got them on but just do a search they helped a lot with sleeping. You take two of them under your tong about thirty minutes before going to sleep. Now as far as your back pain, you definitely need calcium pills i'm not sure if you are taking them, probably about 3 caps a day. Methadone is such a heavy chemical it gets into the bones so we need to reinforce that with calcium. Also for the pain i would recommend getting sodium ascorbate since you've been off methadone for a few weeks now you probably wont need a heavy dose maybe about 1 to 2 grams every few hours with OJ. I guarantee that pain will be gone almost right after you start taking it. Its a great pain management tool.
    Good luck
  18. Andy1

    Andy1 Well-Known Member

    akoola, thank you for responding.

    I've not been wanting to post much because the lack of sleep is making me feel bat sh*t crazy. I think the last 3 nights have been as bad as when I first quit taking methadone. I think Dave might be right, it got bad the night after I took a full norco .. and I haven't slept more than an 1 1/2 hours at a time since. I don't think I've gotten more than 3 hours sleep a night since. Not that that's a huge difference exactly, but its miserable all night long. I had been recognizing a pattern - every two or three nights I at least got some restful sleep. I think I even got 5 hours one night. Not the last 3 nights. Its getting to me in a big way. I'll check out the things you mentioned. Valerian Root I won't do because its original form of Valium and I don't want to take anything that will keep this .. whatever it is .. going. I'm not suicidal, but I'm getting images that sure look that way. Not going to do anything about it, don't worry. I keep thinking "I can't take this anymore. I can't stand it". If that's self pity then I am not only wallowing in it, I'm drowning.

    When I started this, I thought I was going to be documenting how things get better, it just takes a little patience. Today I think everything just s*cks and I hate my life. Sorry folks.
  19. Rainier

    Rainier Well-Known Member


    Valerian root is not related to Valium. Its exact mechanism of action in the body is not well understood, though it may have some weak interaction with some of the benzodiazepine receptors. That's as far as the resemblance goes, though. It has been used safely for literally centuries, has no addictive potential, and won't make things worse for you.

    It is worth a try, and may help a great deal.

    Some days everything in my world still sucks and I also hate my life...but those days are a helluva lot fewer and farther between now. And patience is a very good quality to nurture.

    I know this completely blows right now, but hang in there. It's ultimately worth it.
  20. Andy1

    Andy1 Well-Known Member

    Rainer, nice to hear from you. You are completely correct about valerian root and Valium being unrelated. I wish I'd known that earlier! The past few days have been better, and I do function a whole lot better on low sleep than I'd ever thought I could. Once in awhile it gets to me and I'm sorry to say it does show. My husband can (unfortunately) attest to that, though he does maintain that I do pretty well at NOT taking things out on him. Before I quit methadone (and pot) I really thought my irritation and anger was completely justified, at least in the moment. Now I can see that I was angry first -- then looked for a reason. Paying attention has been good.

    After finally seeing the doctor who will be my primary care physician, I'm now on two blood pressure meds. One is more for actual blood pressure problems and the other is more for help with w/d symptoms (the clonodine). I hadn't realized clonodine is only effective for about 8 hours, so once a day dosing wasn't going to do a lot for the BP itself.... though it sure did/does help with those creepy-crawly sensations at night. The MD also orderd some blood tests (a good thing) and I'm getting caught up on a couple of other medical things I'd let slide over the years. For example, I've never had a mammogram though I'm 54 now. Its past due. It feels kind of good to be taking care of these things.

    Life is way better today -- and really, life is good even when I'm having a hard time. I know I'm emotionally swinging like a pendulum sometimes. When something is a little sad, I am in tears. When I would be irritated, I'm really mad. The good thing is that these pass pretty quickly for the most part, and they are so extreme that even in the midst of them I can see that somehow it isn't me doing this. I'm experiencing it, but it isn't ME if that makes sense. That makes it a lot easier to wait it out, pray, and think about tattooing "This Too Shall Pass" somewhere on my body.

    Thank you to everyone who's posted on this thread. Seriously.

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