Am I Tapering TOO Slow?

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Am I Tapering TOO Slow?

Postby CatsMeow » Tue Oct 24, 2017 4:10 pm

Hello SS! Don't get me wrong, I love dogs too. I just thought it would be nice to be known as Cat, instead of everyone calling me a Dog! LOL!

I've been lurking & reading many many Threads. I was over at the other website (you know the one) but the Mods kept asking me, "Why are you tapering?"! They really don't get it over there. I was so glad to find SS!

I was put on 16 mg of Subs on 4/14/17 for a 2x per day 8 mg Dilaudid regimen for pain. I started with Vicoden 2 7.5 mg per day after a botched hysterectomy in Feb 2010. Another surgery in Feb 2011 to try to fix it. It didn't work. Next up was Vicoprophen 7.5 mg 2 per day. Then on to Dilaudid. I never took more than prescribed. In fact, I had saved up many extras in case of an emergency so this was strictly for pain relief (which of course it really stopped helping). So 7.5 years on opiates.

I wish I had known about the COWS sheet at the time. Probably would have inducted around 8 mg. I lasted for only 2 weeks on 16 mg & began to taper. It was waaaay too much. I went from 16 to 14 to 12 to 10 to 8 to 6 over a period of months. When I dropped to 5 mg I had some problems so I stayed there until (as Cheeps says) my body reached homeostasis.

At this point I began to taper by .25mg. I would take 6 days of 5 mg & 1 day of 4.75 mg. Next week 5 days of 5 mg & 2 days of 4.75 mg. 3rd week 4 days of 5 mg & 3 days of 4.75. 4th week stay at 4.75 mg. Then stay there 10 to 14 days to recover from the drop & catch up on things I let slide.

I've been using this method & am now on week 2 of 3.75 mg & 3.5 mg. So back to my original question. Am I tapering too slow? Should I just drop by .25 mg or even .5 mg, suck up the WD's & hold there once my body reaches homeostasis prior to another drop to stay on Subs as little time as possible?

Another question is, am I spiking? I don't think so but I want to make sure. I'm a big 'old wuss & don't like WD's. I've never WD from anything in my life, but I know enough about it now to not like it at all!

I've been on Subs now for just over 6 months. I believe that I am way too far in to do a fast taper now. It's got it's ugly hold on me now. I'm 59 years old & have been a heavy smoker since starting Subs. I didn't smoke nearly as much before. Nothing I can do about that for now. Also starting to have problems with my teeth. I haven't had a problem with them for years & years. I've been on Seroquel for 10+ years along with 2 - 1mg Xanax for Bi-Polar II. Those must stay also.

I'm planning on tapering as mentioned above until I hit 2 mg I suppose. Then I know I must go slower.

So back to my original question, am I tapering too slow? Or should I just drop my dose, suck up the WD's & hold until I reach homeostasis. I want to get off Subs as fast as possible. I've read that the acute & post acute CAN be much less the less time that you're on the Subs.

Or should I hold the course that has been working for me & be on Subs longer?

Any help/advice is greatly appreciated.
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Re: Am I Tapering TOO Slow?

Postby Eyedotz » Tue Oct 24, 2017 5:39 pm

Hi Cat, nice to meet you... definitely stay the course. You have not been on subs very long even if you do a proper slow taper, you will still be fine. Keep dropping until you reach 2mg and slow it down to 10-15% cuts every 10-14 days and you will get off as easily as you can. I'm not saying it is easy but perfectly doable if you can withstand being uncomfortable for a while.

I was on subs for 13 years so please don't be worried about 'length of time' on your taper. I've got to run for now, but welcome to SS...we're happy to have you! :wave:
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Re: Am I Tapering TOO Slow?

Postby CatsMeow » Tue Oct 24, 2017 6:04 pm

Thanks so much Eyedotz! I've read your entire Thread & learned so very much. You're one strong lady. So don't worry about the length of time on subs? Do you think I started tapering quickly enough to avoid horrible acute & post acute WD's? I really am a big 'ole sissy when it comes to feeling poorly. Worst than most I'm afraid. Especially the many Threads that I've read such as yours & SindySun & Ratch & Cheeps & Don Pisto, etc. You guys are my heroes! I'm not sure I can survive sleep deprivation for months. Sleep is my one really big thing. My whole family is this way. We all sleep like crazy. I'm somewhat afraid for that time to come for me.

Nothing to fear but fear it's self I hear. I must get off of all opiates. It's my time. I still have a lot of good years left & I want them to be Sub free. I hope I'm strong enough to do it...
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Re: Am I Tapering TOO Slow?

Postby Annalo57 » Tue Oct 24, 2017 7:24 pm

Hello Cat. I just saw a new thread and here you are. I'm 60 y/o, a pretty heavy smoker and I'm trying the liquid taper. I've been on Subs for 12-13 years. I'm down to .4mg twice a day. I just wanted to say hey and wish you well on your journey. I think you're doing things right for you, you're listening to your body and acting accordingly. I've learned that besides dealing with the sleep issue (a HUGE issue for me), the other biggest requirement is real patience. Sometimes I am impatient. Sometimes I feel like total crap. Sometimes I feel not too bad. Today wasn't bad at all. This process is slow. But You have an edge. You haven't been on this shit for that long. Keep up the good work. We can do this.

Anna :banana:
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Re: Am I Tapering TOO Slow?

Postby cheeps » Tue Oct 24, 2017 10:14 pm

Cataleen! Welcome to the Black Hole of Subland!

To answer your question right up front...are you spiking? Not really....but you can go ahead and get on an even keel with one dose right now and it shouldn't bother you at all! You've done a mahvahlas job so far....but we can tweak it to make the rest of your process a bit faster before we make it slower....now that's damn confusing...isn't it?? :mrgreen:

Be very very proud of yourself that you questioned medical authority and found it lacking! I can tell right now that you have loads of good common sense and can smell a rat at 50 paces!

Those subsucker DRs think people are crazy for wanting off.....many still see no long term issues with the drug itself :shock: many still believe we'll all relapse and start foaming at the mouth :wired: and many stay much too cautionary whilst they check their overflowing coffers! :roll:

Thank you so much for reading threads. Here's hoping you found tons of inspiration in them....it's not all angst, pain and suffering...well....depends on the day :lol:

So...even though you are officially in the over 50 club AND a big wuss....you shouldn't have too much issue getting off.

Second question...can you go faster? Oh hell yeah you can!

Ma'am? Would you care for a liquid, pill, or strip taper plan? :wiggle: Give us some info on what you are doing now and what you think you might want to do...are you smooshing, cutting, tearing, folding, crunching, melting, shaving off crumbs or making piles of fluff? What do you have to work with in your stockpile of bupe? :mrgreen:

WElcome to SS Kitty KAT!!!
10 yrs on methadone
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Re: Am I Tapering TOO Slow?

Postby CatsMeow » Wed Oct 25, 2017 3:05 pm

Hi Anna & thank you for the welcome! It's nice to have someone my age to converse with. So you're at .8 mg's per day now? Oh I'm so happy for you. That's quite an accomplishment. (I wish it were me!) But alas, I'm working my way down from 3.75 to 3.5 now. It's taking me around 6 weeks to drop .25. At least doing it this way brings on very little in the way of W/D's. I usually get a little knot feeling in my chest (had 1 this morning but it went away ASAP). I also get an upper back ache. Strangest thing. It's just below my shoulder blades. It comes every time I taper.

Obviously these are pretty minor & nothing I can't handle. Since I've only been on sub for 6 months I really would like to get as low as I can as fast as I can. But there's no doubt that I'm a wuss. I'm sad to find myself in this position. I should have gone to a detox & at least tried to get off the 7.5 years of opiates. But it is what it is now so tapering slowly it is.

Again, thanks for reaching out to me! I'll be studying up on the liquid taper in the months to come. Stick around girl so you can help me with that too! Okay? (I'm going to go find your taper Thread if you have one).
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Re: Am I Tapering TOO Slow?

Postby CatsMeow » Wed Oct 25, 2017 3:22 pm

Hi Cheeps! So glad that you found me. I've seen what you've done for countless others and now that I have you on my side I'm really super happy!

So here's my deal. I dose twice per day. Around 8:30 AM & 6:30 PM. I dose buccally, not under the tongue. I really do believe that I get much more bioavailability this way. Plus I'm hoping to stop (or reduce) the utter destruction of my teeth. I drink tons of water (always have) so I truly believe that it leaves my system faster than maybe some other folks. I pee a hundred times a day it seems. Ugh. Right now I'm tapering on week 2 of 3.75 going to 3.5. I take 2.25 (or 2) mg AM & 1.5 mg PM. I have never tried dosing once per day.

It currently takes me about 6 weeks to drop .25. But I do so with very little discomfort. (Of course that may change the lower that I get).

I'm using the 4/1 mg of Suboxzone strips. I bought the RX Cutting Guide. (They didn't have one for the 4/1 so I made one for myself. I use a straight edged razor blade & can cut quite accurately to .25. Anything lower than that I think I'll need the 2 mg strips.

I currently have 1 box of 30 8/2 & almost 4 full boxes of 30 4/1. I just go ahead & fill my RX every month so that I have all that is needed to taper as slow as I need. I fully intend to go to the liquid taper when the time is right (or when you tell me too). Haha

Thanks for being there for all of us that need you so.
Kitty Cat (I like it)
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Re: Am I Tapering TOO Slow?

Postby cheeps » Fri Oct 27, 2017 11:59 am

Hey there kitty kitty kitty CAT.....I love cats! I have two, Marvin is a very large tall Brown tabby with white chest and legs and belly. Mr pink nose is what I call him...Boom Boom is a female rusty calico with no white...n she's the great hunter. Mocking birds Chase her all summer and by fall she's littered the yard with piles of feathers. Drags in EVERYTHING. She used to Chase the chickens until they pecked the Hellllll out of her.

Keep up the good fight!
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Re: Am I Tapering TOO Slow?

Postby CatsMeow » Fri Oct 27, 2017 1:08 pm

Hey there cheeps! I've got you beat. I have 5 cats & 1 outside that I trapped/spayed/released to save her life. She was way too far gone to tame, but I did save her life! I have 2 houses outside for her & plenty of comfy chairs. I see her every day looking in my kitchen window. I tamed her 2 kittens & they're a part of my brood now. They're all rescue cats.

I also have a Cavalier King Charles named Sir Beaux. Sweetest dog breed ever. I bet these pets will really help me out when/if things get bad for me. (Trying to stay positive about all that is to come).

Currently I'm on week 2 of dropping from 3.75 to 3.5. I've been having blurry eyes after my AM dose of 2.25. This is a sure sign for me that I'm over medicating. I think I'm going to skip week 3 and drop to 3.5 for good. I really do think I'm ready. Thoughts? I want to be in really good shape for Thanksgiving this year with family. Will get to see my Sister since her house was destroyed by Hurricane Harvey.

I also found the trays that I use to whiten my teeth. That should keep the Sub off them because they really are deteriorating quickly. The 2 worst are caps. That Sub just eats them up! Grrrrh!

Any advice on how to taper a bit more quickly w/o too much discomfort? When I feel W/D's after a drop I'm taking Calm Support. I only take it as needed so that I'll have that in my arsenal down the road.

Give those kitties a big 'ole hug from Cat!
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Re: Am I Tapering TOO Slow?

Postby Annalo57 » Fri Oct 27, 2017 10:43 pm

Hey Cat. Just here to say hi and tell you that you're doing great. I think we will both beat this thing. I will make a point to come to your thread more often to keep up with your progress. Lets just do this and fuck those evil Sub Drs. I still keep my apps and get my scripts. I'm looking forward o the day I can tell my Dr to go to hell. It will feel so good!!!

Onward and upward!!!!

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Re: Am I Tapering TOO Slow?

Postby Subverted DietDoc » Sat Oct 28, 2017 4:38 am

I wrote you a post but it won’t let me send it.
I have two wolves fighting in my heart. One wolf is a vengeful, angry one. The other wolf is a loving, compassionate one. Which wolf will win the fight in my heart? The one I feed.

Buprenorphine: 9+ years @ 16 mg/d ave. - Tapering @ < .5 mg/d
Alprazolam: Tapered off May 2016 - Started again October 2017 currently tapering
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Re: Am I Tapering TOO Slow?

Postby CatsMeow » Sat Oct 28, 2017 9:21 am

Do you mean you tried to send me a PM? I'm not aware of any reason why I shouldn't get it! I just got another PM this morning. Please try again. I would love to hear your thoughts!
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Re: Am I Tapering TOO Slow?

Postby Subverted DietDoc » Sat Oct 28, 2017 11:15 am

Hi Miss Meow:

No, it wasn’t a PM but I could try that. It was a regular post like this one. There must be some code in my post that the subsux server doesn’t like. I’ve tried sending it like 5 times and even altered some text but it doesn’t matter. All I get is this:

Return to the index page
General Error
SQL ERROR [ mysqli ]

Incorrect string value: '\xF0\x9F\x90\xB1 \x0A...' for column 'post_text' at row 1 [1366]

An SQL error occurred while fetching this page. Please contact the Board Administrator if this problem persists.


I sent the post to Cheeps for her to try to post it on your thread. It will look like it came from her but she’s a brilliant administrator so she’ll make sure it’s clear it’s from me.

In addition to welcoming you I actually had a few questions for you in my post. It’s a bit long so I’m trying to get it to you without having to rewrite it. I’ll PM it to you and if you feel like responding and or answering my questions you can maybe post it from your PM into your thread so others know what we’re discussing.

For example I sent you a some information I’m not sure you’re aware of (but could be). The metabolites of nicotine reduce circulatory benzodiazepine plasma levels by 50% before they cross the blood-brain barrier. Put another way, if you take Xanax (alprazolam) or any drug with a name that ends in ‘pam’ AND you smoke cigarettes, you’re only getting 1/2 the dose. Put another way if you take 2 mg of Xanax and stop smoking it will feel like 4 mg. You are creating some very potent pee! Personally, I never touch Xanax....blahahahahaha!

I’ll PM my post. Welcome. You’re doing great. You will not have any significant or protracted withdrawal at all.

Best,

SDD
I have two wolves fighting in my heart. One wolf is a vengeful, angry one. The other wolf is a loving, compassionate one. Which wolf will win the fight in my heart? The one I feed.

Buprenorphine: 9+ years @ 16 mg/d ave. - Tapering @ < .5 mg/d
Alprazolam: Tapered off May 2016 - Started again October 2017 currently tapering
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Re: Am I Tapering TOO Slow?

Postby Subverted DietDoc » Sat Oct 28, 2017 11:27 am

OK...I think I figured it out...I put this stupid cat picture in the post and wen I took it out it went through as a PM. So here goes with a try here with the cat pic removed. It was a cute cat though.


Hi Meow (cat pic was here):

Read your whole thread. Very interesting. You’re doing great. At the end of the day any taper that affords the least discomfort whilst completely ending in zero buprenorphine use are all valid. I will say, and I haven’t done the math, but the ratio of use to taper time in your plan has got to be the all time record. I was just writing that tapering is better suited for some personality types more than others. I’m tapering at 10x your rate and I’m going insane how slow and tedious it feels. I just go down 10-15% every 10-14 days. But I have WD symptoms so you’re doing just fine.

If I may, I am very curious about some things (and of course only engage what you want, I don’t mean to pry). With that said: who came up with this method/formula: 1,1,1,1,1,1,1-X....1,1,1,1,1,1-X, 1-X...1,1,1,1,1-X,1-X,1-X etc etc. This is your dosing schedule style...did a doctor set this up or did you come up with that? Sorry if I missed where you mentioned this in your posts.

The next question I also find very interesting. You are medically opiate dependent. You are not a drug addict. You used pain medication compliantly for almost 8 years. You were using Dilaudid as your last narcotic agent with zero hx of abuse, no addict behavior whatsoever. So my question is: why didn’t your doctors just taper you off of Dilaudid directly? What’s the clinical point of taking a compliant patient off an opiate agonist and placing them on addiction medication? I’ve tapered off Dilaudid and Dilaudid HP (4X the strength of regular Dilaudid). It’s very well suited for
direct tapering and comes in so many forms and strengths making it even easier. Why the clinical choice for ORT in a non-addict? Didn’t anyone else find this odd...or did I miss a chapter in the handbook?

Please know I’m just trying to learn from everything and everyone. You’re doing great and no way are you going to endure any significant, protracted withdrawal discomfort. Not with your algorithm of tapering!!!!

Here’s one tip...the metabolites of nicotine reduces the plasma concentration of benzodiazepine by 50%. Put another way: if you smoke cigarettes you’re only getting about 1/2 the Xanax, Klonopin (or any drug that has a name that ends in ‘Pam’) that you’re taking. If you stop smoking, 2 mg of Xanax becomes 4 mg in GABA central station....or you need to half your dose. Just a fun fact. Personally I never touch that stuff.

Keep the Faith.

Best- SDD
I have two wolves fighting in my heart. One wolf is a vengeful, angry one. The other wolf is a loving, compassionate one. Which wolf will win the fight in my heart? The one I feed.

Buprenorphine: 9+ years @ 16 mg/d ave. - Tapering @ < .5 mg/d
Alprazolam: Tapered off May 2016 - Started again October 2017 currently tapering
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Re: Am I Tapering TOO Slow?

Postby CatsMeow » Sat Oct 28, 2017 2:14 pm

All very good questions! Let's start at the beginning. I was on the opiates for pain control. My Dr. had mentioned Suboxone before. Then a friend got on Sub & told my husband how wonderful it was (must have been within the first 2 weeks or so). Okay, so 2 thumbs up for Subs.

I had tried a couple of times to wean from Dilaudid. Found myself on the floor writhing in pain & puking. Fuck that, I stopped! The Dilaudid was just killing me. My body wanted more & I would not comply. I should have done my research, but I was not in good shape & didn't do it. So on to Sub I went. 16 mg none the less. Knew it was way too much & after 2 weeks started to taper by 2 mg's with no problems until 5 mg's.

Was over on suboxforum & they kept asking me why I was tapering. Finally found SS. Now I knew I was right. I should never have been put on this & certainly not 16mg.

I tried to drop by .5 mg's & it wasn't good. So I tried .25 mg's. Still W/D's. So I made the schedule that I posted on my thread to slowly lower. I've done so with little to no W/D's. I just found a way to drop with little to no trouble.

I wish I had done things differently, but it's too late now. Wow this brings up some bad memories & kind of depresses me. Guess that's why I don't talk about it much.

Very interesting about the cigs & the Xanax. I'm actually slowly tapering it now. Going down .25 mg's once a month or so (or more time if needed). I don't know much about Benzo W/D (need to read more about that), but I can tell it's serious & dangerous if done too quickly. Hopefully I'll be off it some time next year.

I hope you have more understanding of where I am & how I got here. Best of luck to you with your tapering too!
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Re: Am I Tapering TOO Slow?

Postby CatsMeow » Sat Oct 28, 2017 2:29 pm

Update. No, I'm not skipping my week 3 of my Sub taper method. There I go getting impatient. I know this is going to happen. I think it happens to most of us. Why should I mess with what's working for me? :crazy:

This is not a race. It's Cat's attempt to wean herself off of all opiates for a lifetime. Even at 59 I know that I have many many great years ahead of me & I intend to enjoy them without opiates.

I am already feeling different. I'm feeling better as my dose gets lower. I know that will change, but I have to believe that it's a preview of what it's going to be like Sub (& opiate) free. Calm & fun with natural energy and great sleep. This is what I want for myself & for everyone tapering to be free of Sub.

Wishing you all a W/D free day & a stable but effective taper schedule. :)
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Re: Am I Tapering TOO Slow?

Postby Subverted DietDoc » Sat Oct 28, 2017 9:03 pm

Hey Meow...

Thanks for the reply. Now I get it. A direct taper can be very complex and painful. The main thing is I didn’t know you attempted to do that. Now it makes sense. You still could have been reduced a little and put on 2 mg/day of buprenorphine and had zero symptoms. But most docs just tow the company line. What most people don’t realize is medical school is just another trade school, pass the boards, win a prize, a rep pitches a new drug, start writing it the way you’re shown, no time for anything else really. 16 mg seems to be the default dose in the US. What a racket. Soon there will be no active patient limit. I guarantee this will be part of the new war in prescription opiates in the news cycle this week. And it will go from way to easy to way too hard to get ligitimate pain management. It was the damm Portnoy Study that started all this...a 12 patient study!!!! OxyContin addiction and all those that got lead to heroin is the result of a flawed study with 12 subjects. Wow. It’s all about one thing...a system that often places profits over people.

Oh...did you come up with that taper (1/7,2/7,3/7 etc) plan or did the sub doc chart that out for you?

That’s my rant for the day. I’m going down .25 mg of Xanax every 72 hours! But I was only taking it for a month...but quite a bit of it from what I’m told.

Keep the faith.
I have two wolves fighting in my heart. One wolf is a vengeful, angry one. The other wolf is a loving, compassionate one. Which wolf will win the fight in my heart? The one I feed.

Buprenorphine: 9+ years @ 16 mg/d ave. - Tapering @ < .5 mg/d
Alprazolam: Tapered off May 2016 - Started again October 2017 currently tapering
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Re: Am I Tapering TOO Slow?

Postby CatsMeow » Sun Oct 29, 2017 10:12 am

Oh yes, that Sub taper schedule is all my own. (I've never even discussed my taper with my MD & he's never asked) It just seemed smart. Why drop so suddenly when you can just ease into the drop? The down side is that it takes me 4 full weeks to drop .25. Then I like to take a couple of weeks just to feel okay & do chores that got left behind & work that's sitting on my desk begging for attention!

I do believe there will come a time (say under 1 mg) where it will all be about the taper & quitting. But I'm far from there. I think I'll stay with what's working. I should be in really good shape for Thanksgiving & that's very important for me.

Good luck with your Xanax taper! It should be relatively painless for you. I've successfully dropped .25 mg per day & am holding. Will reduce another .25 maybe after the 1st of the year. Don't want to rush anything!

I've forgiven my MD for making such a mistake with me & I've forgiven myself for my part in this. To err is human, to forgive is Divine.
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Re: Am I Tapering TOO Slow?

Postby Annalo57 » Sun Oct 29, 2017 2:50 pm

Hey Cat. Just dropping by your thread to give you a warm hello and tell you I think you're very smart. Enjoy the rest of your Sunday.

Anna :banana:
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Re: Am I Tapering TOO Slow?

Postby DietDoc » Sun Oct 29, 2017 6:12 pm

Thanks Cat...

I was thinking about your taper algorithm. It's quite brilliant really and I don't think I've seen that method used in the dozens of various approaches I've seen.

So I was thinking about it and taking 4 weeks to go down .25 mg isn't actually that long. I am reducing an average of around 12% per drop every two weeks. I am using the "dry" method (non-liquid taper) and the geometry of the film itself as a guide.

So using a 2 mg strip, 1 mm = .0909 mg. I reduced 1 mm every two weeks to get to where I am, which is 0.4 mg total per day. So, my point is it takes me the same amount of time to reduce down .18 mg as it does for your to reduce .25 mg...and I make my reduction all at once, on the same day and stay there for 14 days.

This is my last 1 mm reduction. After the 14 days on 0.4 mg/day I go to 1/2 mm reductions or .045.

I thought you wrote that you reduce one of 7 days and stay there for a week. I must have misunderstood something and need to go back and read it because that would take 8 weeks to get all 7 days on the same dose.

I know the way I am doing this I will eventually hit the wall at 1000 miles an hour...but I don't care anymore. I'm just going to keep going until continuing to take any is clearly prolonging the...shall we call it, discomfort.

Strangely, and I don't want to jinx myself, but I feel totally decent. Still have sleep disturbance (but I had that on and off my whole life so it's hard to say what it's from). But over all I can honestly say I feel better at .4 mg than I did at 1.25-.75 mg Weird but true. HAs the lead suit for weeks at .75 mg and don't have it now at all.

I do know that I am at a low enough dose that I will never go up again...finally. My goal is .25 mg/day. If I feel relatively OK and think I'm better off keeping the taper going I will...If I feel like total crap...that's it .25 mg is jump day. But who knows... nothing about buprenorphine makes sense...this drug just doesn't follow any known pharmacological dynamics...point here is my plan could go south any second of any day.

PSilver jumped at .6 mg/d and many have jumped at 2.0 mg or more...so making it as far as you and I have we could both jump today and win the battle. But like you, I choose to stay on Hamburger Hill and fight this out a while longer and see what happens.
Best to you,

SDD
I have two wolves fighting in my heart. One wolf is a vengeful, angry one. The other wolf is a loving, compassionate one. Which wolf will win the fight in my heart? The one I feed.

Buprenorphine: 9+ years @ 16 mg/d ave. - Tapering @ < .5 mg/d
Alprazolam: Tapered off May 2016 - Started again October 2017 currently tapering again
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