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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

    Lets see if my internet connection will let me post this time :tongue:. Today makes 8 weeks since I ended my methadone taper and quit smoking. I'm not sleeping like I used to, but then again I'm not sedated either. I am sleeping about 5 hours a night and doing a lot better. I'm getting caught up on a lot of things (like basic medical care) that I'd let slide for way too long. My life is being about more than just detoxing and the longer term symptoms.

    I'm still pretty early in this, but I wanted to let anyone reading this know that GETTING OFF METHADONE ISN'T ALL THAT HARD. Its not easy - don't get me wrong. Taper if you have the choice. Taper more slowly once you're down to 10 or 15 mg. Once you go down in dose, do not go back up. It takes too long for it to take effect, so there's no real point to going up in dose anyway.

    If methadone is working for you, if there is not a downside, there's no reason to get off it. If it is not working for you - if there is a downside - maybe you're here because you want off. I'm a wimp. If I can do this, I KNOW you can. Just make a plan, take it slowly, and don't go back up in dose no matter what.
  2. flyinghorses

    flyinghorses Member

    Hi Andy!

    Just a tip I have found helps with the restless legs and twitching, I straighten my legs and clench the muscles, almost lengthening my legs, and then relax my legs slowly while breathing out, while also slowly falling into my comfortable sleeping position. It has helped me tremendously at night. Hot showers too seem to be the only thing at night that can calm me. I am on day 5 off opiates, after using norcos to help me get off the methadone that I origionally used to get off hydro and oxys, but it has been almost 4 weeks since I took my last methadone. It's nice to know I am not alone. I was really craving a norco tonight and even had access but decided not to and just knowing that is keeping my mind at peace tonight. I use melatonin to help me sleep (2-6 mg) and that keeps me from waking up in the middle of the night. Be strong, you are doing great! Remember that you are not alone and we all need to know that others are hurting in similar ways and are keeping clean. Best of luck to you!
  3. pameather

    pameather Well-Known Member

    WHEW! HERE YOU ARE! I couldnt find your thread earlier,so forget what I said in your message... I havent had time to read up on your thread as its late now,but I will be back Andrea!! Have a GREATday.
  4. Andy1

    Andy1 Well-Known Member

    Hi, just updating this . Its been 2 months and 9 days since ending my methadone taper. I'm sleeping much better as of about a week or two ago, getting 5-6 hours total sleeping more restfully as well. I still want more sleep and to not wake up during the night, and that will come with time. No more norco at all; Dave aka Peacenik was right about that. When I took half a norco, I'd sometimes sleep better that night - but always sleep worse (crazy worse) the next two nights. Ultram seems to help when I take it during the day, sometimes with tylenol. That's for back pain so I can go for a walk and get some exercise. Exercise is key - not just for dealing with withdrawal and getting any drugs out of my system, but so I can get in better shape and feel better overall. I need to lose 25 pounds I put on since injuring my back. I've lost 10 lbs so far. Some mornings I move pretty well and some mornings I do 'the snowman walk' as my son called it. At least I can think straight again! I am so glad I got off methadone and quit smoking pot - things aren't perfect, but it feels like I have my life back.
    For anyone reading this, I strongly advise keeping an eye on your blood pressure during the process .. and for weeks or months afterwards. Clonodine helped considerably with the restless leg syndrome (if that's what it was) and that plus atenolol (both blood pressure medications, both by prescription only) and stopping ANY norco coincided almost exactly with when I started sleeping better again. I wish you all the best and will keep checking back and updating occasionally. I'm feeling very blessed to have found and used this forum, and VERY blessed to have had people here respond with support and suggestions. You probably don't know how much difference even casual comments made. Thank you.
  5. Robyn

    Robyn Well-Known Member

    Hi Andy,

    Just wanted to suggest that you really be careful with the ultram. I got crazy addicted to it...actually preferred it over hydros. Ended up on suboxone for nine months (yeah, that's another story) to get off the stuff.

    I know ultram pales in comparison to methadone, but it was truely a wild ride for me that went on for years.

    Good luck to you and congratulations on getting off the methadone!
  6. Andy1

    Andy1 Well-Known Member

    Robyn, thanks for the warning about Ultram. I'm using it once a day at most and not every day. I am concerned about potential long term problems with anything I'm using and appreciate the heads up.
  7. Catamount

    Catamount Well-Known Member

    Hey Andy.....found you! Lack of sleep was a MONSTER for me. I slept, or should I say, had lack of sleep just like you. It drove me crazy. I do not remember exactly at what point it was after I quite the opiates but I went to my doctor and told him that I have not slept in 6 or more months. Started to take sleep meds. Most did not work, but I do remember 1 called Ambian or something close to that, did work great...but I was doing weird crap at night I had no idea I had done. So I got off that cause it was not cool. Then I got Lunesta....worked pretty good for me. Would get a good 6 hours of sleep or so. That stuff can be addictive as well, so I only stayed on of for a few months. Long enough to restore me normal sleep patern and then stoped it. Did pretty good after that. I still to this point have good nights and bad nights. Although the good nights far out weigh the bad nights. I fall asleep fine, and then will just wake up at 2am and be wide awake. I just go watch some TV and hope to doze back off. Congrats on the 2 months and 10 days now I think.

    Best wishes,

  8. Andy1

    Andy1 Well-Known Member

    Hey everyone, Just checking in again. Sleep has been the top issue for me, and still is ... though its getting better :)cool:). I'm sleeping around 5 hours a night most nights, with an occasional 6 hour night :)smile:). The sleep is more refreshing now and I'm usually much calmer about it when I can't get back to sleep after 3 or 4 am. When I wake up I'm not WIDE AWAKE with my heart pounding. That coincided with beginning blood pressure meds, which I'm still taking.

    We went camping last weekend and I slept on a cheap inflatable air mattress. It was way better than my memory foam mattress! For me, the memory foam holds the heat, so I'm too hot under my hip and thigh even if the rest of me is freezing. With the air mattress, it was cooler under me all night long. I'm thinking about moving my mattress and using the cheezy air mattress instead. I bet it'd be an improvement! Overall I like the memory foam mattress a lot .. it would be more comfortable EXCEPT it triggers the specific things interfering with my sleep, so I'm not dissing the mattress in general.

    Last note: I've been playing catchup with medical and dental appointments. I've not been keeping up with such things over the past few years. Well .. after my first ever mammogram I got a call back from the imaging center. They wanted to take a closer look at one breast - which didn't worry me too much since I'd been told in advance that its pretty common to be called back, especially after the first mammogram. Then they wanted to take another ... and then ultra sound ... then the radiologist came in to redo THAT one himself. The tech had quit making eye contact, which didn't help. I was praying throughout and felt oddly calm. Skipping to the end, the radiologist thought everything is fine and I don't need to come back until next year. WHEW!

    I was very lucky. As a result of escaping what might have been "the C word" (cancer), I am planning to take a long-ish trip abroad, something I've always wanted to do. I'm in my mid 50's now, its time to do the things I want to do. I figure it'll be good motivation to lose a few pounds as well, so I can take the normal tourist walking tours and explore the area with a guidebook too. If this trip falls through, I'm looking for a cheap camper shell for a truck so I can go camping more locally. Up and at 'em! Put up or shut up! Go go Gadget!
  9. Robyn

    Robyn Well-Known Member

    That is excellent news, Andy1.
    Sounds like you are doing well and taking life as it comes. The sleep thing is still an issue for me at two months. Looking forward to getting 7 or 8 hours a night...sigh!!
    I'm also in my mid fifties... well late fifties I guess, so I totally get wanting to make up for lost time. I just got back from Mexico where I was able to do lots of hiking and yoga. Re-entry into normal life has been a challenge for me but I'm still here, still sober.
    I hope you have a great time.
  10. detoxnagain

    detoxnagain Active Member

    yes.You will sleep well again.I was in a clinic for 4 years total and did a slow taper.I jumped at 10 mg and had trouble sleeping for about 4-6 months.I used benadryl to help.I know what you're going through as I had to work when I got off methadone.The leg pain was for about 3 months and the fatigue and yawning for about 6 months.That was a few years ago and I'm going thuru sub detox now and the insomnia drives you nuts.stay strong.
  11. Andy1

    Andy1 Well-Known Member

    Hi folks, I'm still planning the trip to Israel which has gone from 2 weeks on a tour with hotels included, to 3 weeks in the cheapest clean hotels I can find and hiring a private tour guide for 2 days, to 4 weeks, youth hostels and couchsurfing, no guides. I think I'd better hurry and book a flight before we end up sleeping under a bridge. Anyway, it is lovely to have something to think about besides obsessing about lack of sleep and other discomforts.

    Last night I slept for at least 6 hours, and I'm feeling more rested (again) overall. It is very odd to me that sleep is the single biggest issue, still. Something about the blood pressure meds helped a lot - losing that thing where I would wake up (instantly wide awake) with a pounding heart going 95 miles an hour ... well, its just nice without that. Being able to get back to sleep after waking up at 2:30 am is seriously nice, too. One of these days I am sure I'll sleep in past 5am too! Shortly after that, I'll lose the slight purple circles under my eyes. sigh.

    As my mother used to say, "Well, if that's the biggest thing you have to complain about .. its not all that bad, right?"
  12. Andy1

    Andy1 Well-Known Member

    Me again, it'll be 4 months tomorrow since my last dose of methadone. I'm sleeping 6 hours a night most nights and sometimes 7 or 8 hours. Still not as rested as I'd like to be, but once I actually get out of bed I feel fine. No more narcotic pain meds (except for Tylenol with codeine about twice a week). I'm walking in the mornings and my stamina is improving. I can hit a normal walking pace for the first time in over a decade, though I can't keep it up very long. I had a therapeutic massage today and it was lovely. Life is feeling pretty good today. Its way too smokey outside (due to fires a few miles away), but good. I've been thinking about people who have posted on this thread and on other threads here. I hope you are doing well too.
  13. Andy1

    Andy1 Well-Known Member

    Me again, 5 months tomorrow. Things are going really well, though I've kind of stalled out with the changes I was making for the better. The fire(s) here are almost contained, so the air quality is much better but still not good enough to be walking in the morning without a mask on, so I haven't been walking. I've been on the computer instead just "wasting time" and have had a first hand chance to see how much easier it is to be an all-or-nothing person instead of practicing moderation.

    Otherwise, health is good and I'm a much (MUCH) happier person than I was a year ago -- or 2 -- or 5 years ago.

    If I can be of assistance to anyone, leave me a PM here. I'm checking the site every few days.

    'bye for now. :cool:
  14. peacenik

    peacenik Administrator

    Hey Andy .. I'm off on vacation this week but I wanted to drop in and say congrats on the 5 months. It's really nice to see someone putting drugs behind them and being willing to tough it out through the process.

    Like I've said lots of times - it is so worth it. Every ounce of effort you put in to staying clean will be repaid to you a hundredfold. I can promise you that. :)

    Thanks as well for sharing your experience with others. Continued good luck Andy
  15. Inhishands(Heather)

    Inhishands(Heather) Well-Known Member

    Hey Andy, just dropping by to check on ya, haven't seen you on in a while. Hope you are doing spectacular:smile:
  16. skinnylove

    skinnylove Member

    Congrats sounds good, i think the sleep thing will slowly come back, maybe it's a more restful sleep. I was never a great sleeper anyhow on this stuff, Look forward to reading your story.
  17. Andy1

    Andy1 Well-Known Member

    Hi Dave, sorry for the lack of timely reply. I appreciate what you say - in this post and elsewhere.

    Hey Heather! Nice to hear from you. How've you been? Good I hope!

    Hi Skinnylove, nice to meet you. Sounds like you're on your way - very cool. I slept a lot while on methadone, 10-12 hours a day. It was both sedation and an escape. I guess it makes sense that (for me) sleep became the biggest problem after quitting. I'm still playing catch-up on health issues that I completely ignored while medicated. Its now 6 months clean for me, and life is SO much better. I kept hearing that from others, and I needed to hear it. Its true. I am sleeping better every week. One day I will sleep 8 hours AND it will be restful sleep. Oh yeaaah! :cool:

    Today I was walking (I'm up to 2 miles a day) and saw animal tracks I didn't recognize. After I get off here I'll be checking google to find them. Two days ago we saw bear tracks and what I think are bobcat tracks, though not positive about that one. This week we saw a largish deer herd (for this area), and a fox. For me this is wonderful! I have always loved nature, but since being on methadone I was just too tired or sore or whatever to actually get out and enjoy it. Now I'm doing the things I like to do, not just talking about it! You wouldn't believe how much of a difference that is.

    I wish everyone here the absolute best.
  18. Andy1

    Andy1 Well-Known Member

    I'm at 8 months out now, life is still pretty good. Ups and Downs - as its meant to be I suppose. To tell the truth, it always had its ups and downs, I just really wanted to close my eyes and pull the covers up over my head more when I was on methadone. LIFE IS BETTER now! Yup, no joke. Not much else to say; its raining here, I'm getting more active than I used to be (though I'm not willing to walk outside while its pouring). I have a fuller range of emotions now, not just sedated-depressed-trying to be happy. Its not a roller coaster, just a lot more variety. My sex drive is back. ;) My sleep patterns are still messed up, but now I'm sleeping well for 6-7 hours then waking up and trying to get back to sleep. Sometimes I do go back to sleep. I feel a whole lot more rested after waking, and am not feeling like I'm grinding my teeth and looking for a fight the first few hours after I get up. For awhile there, I was feeling pretty angry and had a super low tolerance for frustration or stress of any kind. I had to work hard not to take it out on my family and sometimes I didn't do as good a job one might hope. Truth is I was not exactly the best of people when on methadone, I was just able to "pretend" everything would be okay the next day. I knew better. I wasn't fooling anyone, least of all myself. Now I feel like myself again. I do have my shortcomings (plenty of 'em), but thinking about them doesn't completely overwhelm me. I am actually making progress and am a much happier person overall. Yay.... and thank you God. The God thing is a big deal, becoming part of my everyday life rather than a separate thing I pull out once a week and feel guilty about.

    I hope Heather, Dave, Skinny, Bonita, and everyone else are doing well.

    'bye for now.
  19. Inhishands(Heather)

    Inhishands(Heather) Well-Known Member

    Hey Andy, so glad to here from you & that you are doing good. I too have a life again, got back to my roots, horse/mule farming again & the best part my kids are passionate about it too, so we enjoy it together. I am truly thrilled to here from you my friend, was wondering where you had been. You have tickled me pink with your update :)
  20. Andy1

    Andy1 Well-Known Member

    Nine months and counting. Sleep is better, I am able to sleep past sun up. I'm still grouchy sometimes especially right after I wake up, and I'm starting to think its just something I have to work on in my personality. My memory is better than it was, but not where I think it should be. Chances are I'll just have to get used to writing notes to myself. When I was in my teens and 20s I learned new things quickly, and it never occurred to me that it might change one day. Now I have to work (a lot) harder to learn. That's okay - I am getting it, just not as quickly as I used to. Frustration is counter-productive. I need patience with myself as much as with anyone else!

    After 9 months it is smoking pot I crave. I know I can't take methadone ... but I keep thinking of reasons it makes sense to smoke. Rational, logical reasons that are full of you-know-what. Isn't the human brain a funny thing?

    Still wishing EVERYONE here the very best in life,

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