My Opiate haze.

I am so damn happy to report that I am opiate free. That’s right baby, I no longer take daily opiates to manage my pain.

Can I just say that again!!???

I. AM. OPIATE. FREE!

Fuck Yeah!

{{{But man, Yum… yum. Percocet}}}

Anyways, I fought a daily, internal battle for almost 10 years.

Every day, shit, every pill… I’d ask myself a series of questions.

  1. Do I really need this pill?
  2. Is the pain REALLY that bad???
  3. How many have you had today???
  4. What ELSE have you taken today to avoid Percocet ~
  5. muscle relaxers???
  6. Anxiety medicine???
  7. Tylenol, Motrin???
  8. What time is it???— close enough to bed to just pop it and pass out???

I was taking so much shit, every day, all day, pills.~~

~~Disclaimer: please know, if I didn’t have the medicines in this post, I would not be here today. I am only alive today because of all of these meds. Don’t misunderstand. There was a time, a place and a true need in my life for those drugs. ~~

~~And if I hadn’t had those meds, I’d be dead for sure. Every day, it was a struggle and I would do everything in my power to not take a Percocet. For a lot of reasons but the main reason, I fucking love Percocet and the way it makes me feel so I avoided taking it. By the grace of God, my husband, our little, my brother, my sister, & daddy too… I avoided an addiction to opiates. Barely.

  • Holy crap, I was on a lot of shit!
  • Fentanyl- 25 mcg, 1 patch every 3 days
  • Percocet- 7.25/325 mg, 4-6 pills a day: *never less than four*, if I needed more I’d take some from my dad. (He didn’t like the high like I did).
  • Duloxatine (Cymbalta)- 60 mg
  • Xanax 10 mg
  • Flexeril- 10 mg
  • Baclofen, diazepam and ketamine suppositories- compounded and I can’t remember the dose now…
  • Some other stuff I can’t remember now! Mostly antidepressants- sertraline, Effexor and who knows.
  • That was my daily drug list.
  • But. I never gave my body the same amount of medicine I allowed the day before… the significance of that statement is this: if I had a shit pain day, if I allowed myself to fall for the pain and take unlimited meds, AT the same daily consumption rate as yesterday, my body would reset itself to the unrealistic ‘zero pain level’ that Percocet gives me. I knew I could never let that happen.
  • Dr. Netley D’Souza, ACP, Tucson, guided me through one of the longest, saddest, most depressing 10 years of my life. He told me as he wrote my first script for Fentanyl, ‘listen- Percocet and Fentanyl will never totally get rid of the pain and you never want to try to use it to do that. If you do, you’ll become addicted.’ I love him, always will. I credit him as being the doctor that took action when I needed him most. Somehow, he saw I really needed him. I’ve told my husband a million times in the last ten years, and a million more over my disease process/path- when these ignorant doctors fucking kill me, sue every mofo except my Dr.D. The list has expanded to my Hibner too… but not many more will ever be allowed to touch me, so I doubt this list will expand any time soon.
  • Dr. D’Souza telling me not to expect narcotics to fully get rid of my pain allowed me to see this as a fluid process. One where I see pain as closer than my shadow because it is always with me. Pain like this requires constant love, care, attention, time, rest…! I never know what caused it, brought it or what’ll get rid of it but it’s a process of constant fluid motion and use of different combinations of pelvic floor physical therapy, heat, ice and meds to help decrease and manage symptoms. All that movement every day, just to do the bare minimum to survive and I promise I didn’t do any ONE thing well the last ten years except survive.
  • So, The decision was made: its time for me to go off opiates and onto MMJ. January 2017, I walk into my first dispensary, The Downtown Dispensary, with the help of my girlfriend, and longtime cannabis activists, Jen Elstner, by my side. I start my medical marijuana journey and my ultimate release of daily opiates.
  • Damn… that seems like a long time when I see it in black and white. And, It was. I had zero timelines set and zero expectations except that I would get off Fentanyl. But the universe had other plans for me and a whole lot of fucked up shit happened in between then and today. Not to mention all the medical procedures the last two years. Don’t forget-, I have full anesthesia/epidural procedures every three months. Not all of those procedures are complication free. So, yeah, it was a long time.
  • First up and off completely was Fentanyl. I slowly increased the number of days between patches. I’d ‘stretch’ my 3 day patch to 3 & 1/2 days. Then to 4 days, then to 4 & 1/2 days, then to 5 days and one day I realized I couldn’t remember how many days it was, so I simply stopped replacing patches. I gave my last Fentanyl prescription back to Dr. D!
  • I didn’t make any other medication changes while I weaned off Fentanyl.
  • Then I started on the next drug… and the next and the next. Until I no longer took a daily pill of any of those medicines.
  • Except my Percocet.
  • Percocet was my pain security blanket.

    I was happy being the one that got off Fentanyl. I had zero desire to wean off Percocet. Zip. Zilch. Nada. Nope. I got off everything else. I’ll just keep my little pills…

    But no. At last… I’m asked to wean off Percocet. Thanks to Svetlana Burtman, NP @ Renewed Medical Health. She’s been a gem and put up with my crazy while I go on hormones (fuck-this sucks), off Percocet and have some crazy PGAD flare & some auto immune thingy happening for over a month…

    For some reason I heard myself agree… I said, ‘I’ll try’… I was actually more curious to find out: Did I really need Percocet or did I just love it? Until a month, month and half ago, I’d never thought it mattered if I were off it or not because I’d given up all those other drugs.

    What can I say, I don’t need Percocet every day. For the first time in years, I don’t have a revolving door of narcotics to help manage my pain. Opiate free!

    I am opiate free.

    I know I’ll still need Percocet for procedures and bad flares but I promise you, I don’t need 120 pills a month anymore. Hell, I may only need a script every procedure month!

    Yes!!!

    Now to examine the other truth that writing this post has just shown me. Coming off opiates is why my body is in a fucked up flare. But, that’s for a different day. A different blog.

    Psst… I’m opiate free!

    Xx

    Lilly Sue!

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