Methadone taper with a doctor who scares me URGENT

This fourm is for people struggling to get off methadone. If you are a methadone advocate then please PISS OFF!

Methadone taper with a doctor who scares me URGENT

Postby Cure for Pain » Mon Jun 09, 2014 2:12 am

I'm a 49 year old female with around 15 or 16 years of graduated opiate use. My health is good, otherwise. My husband was just declared disabled due to to Wernicke- Korsakoff syndrome. We were both accountants. Now I'm an accountant that is currently unemployed; my employer moved to the DC area and I wasn't in a position to move with them. I've been going to hubby's doctor's appointments and watching his brain deteriorate. Perfect time to lose this monkey. My home life isn't the best of situations but my kid needs me to be 100% there and awake and doing things. He hopes for admission with substantial scholarships at either UC Berkeley or MIT and his grades certainly support it - never anything lower than an A in his life, plays upwards of five instruments, takes the Engineering Academy coursework (with a 100 semester average) and is in the International Baccalaureate program for his core classes. Sorry to brag like I'm doing but I couldn't be prouder of him and he is my only child. We have yet to do college visits, SATs, ACTs, etc. I have to be on the ball for this. It is the most important time in his life. Its my last big push as a MOM, you know? He knows I'm tapering of a really strong medication that makes me sick if I don't have my regular dosages and actually holds the doses in a pill minder thing that he brings to me to take on the dots of 8 am, 2 pm, and 10 pm. He makes sure I take my clonodine and melatonin before bedtime. He is on my side with this and it means everything for him to see me succeed.

The RLS is my personal devil in withdrawal. And in PAWS, I think about suicide a lot - I would never do it, I just think of it. Other opiate addicts know how our mind can get to thinking that you will never again have that feeling of being perfectly OK. . . . However, I do love my family more than I love the drugs.

My doctor is obviously a croaker. On my my first visit,I paid my $100 cash to the receptionist and then was called to the cubicles in the back. I had never done this before and I listened to other people giving her laundry lists of 4 or 5 different scheduled substances they wanted. It blew me away. When i was my turn, I just told her flat out that I was too old and too sick of the game to be buying on the street. She asked what I wanted and i told her 120 mg of methadone a day, period. I left with a prescription for 360 10 mg methadone pills. She gave me another script each 28 days if I kept my appointments, paid the $100 (which went up to $125 a year ago). Gave clean drug tests and I believe I was a model patient. My chart, which I just received (due to her retirement from this line of work), says I had lower lumbar pain or some such thing than I never complained of. I was straight up with her for the most part - I was really sick, but it was of paying the high prices and jumping through the hoops like a trained animal at the circus required to stay in the good graces of those who run the local methadone clinic. I've actually never bought methadone from someone I didn't know very well personally and those times have been very, very few and very, very far between. I've been her "patient" now for 3 years.

I recently got a letter saying she was shutting her doors, all of her patients should look for other pain management solutions. She was nice enough to recommend three docs and pain clinics, She told me personally that she was going to work with really sick children that didn't have the resources to get the best of care. She must have done the croaker stuff in order to get the pile of money that is going to take to basically work for free. At any rate, I took it as an omen that it was time to taper. I was beyond ready, I had been thinking of it for a year or so. Getting the cash for her fee and the pharmacy together each month, especially while unemployed, was getting harder every month. My husband has been clueless about my methadone habit until now. Hard to believe but absolutely true. He stays on the golf course so much, I'd have to lie naked by the ninth hole on the green to get his attention.

Sorry for the boring introduction. Onward to the URGENT part - I think this doctor is trying to kill me or make me wish I was dead. I'm convinced of it. She is taking me down so fast, it is unbelievable. Believe it or not, I am OK now, on the 30 mg I'm allowed from my 120 mg/day habit.

Original dose 120 mg
Week 1 of taper 90 mg (3 times a day, 3 pills each)(drop of 25%)
Week 2 of taper 70 mg (2,2,3)(drop of 22%)
Week 3 of taper 60 mg (2,2,2) (drop of 14%)
Week 4 of taper 50 mg (2,1,2) (drop of 16%)
This week she goes to 30 mg (1,1,1). (drop of 20 mg as I get lower and lower? The hell??)

My appointment with her is today, Monday, at 11:30 am. My prescription has to be filled before then for me morning dose. I wake up with a headache and I am as grumpy as a person gets. I used to get up before the rest of the people in the house, get myself dressed and presentable for the day, cook a hot breakfast for everyone, clean up after it and do housework before I beginning to work on whatever project I am working on at the moment.

My doc plans to write the last of my weekly scripts to day at my appointment at 11:30 Central. What should I asked for? She has said she could even take me down to the 5 mg pills but since she's shutting shop, she wants this done and over by the time she does. I can understand that, but it leaves me in an untenable situation. I really don't see her writing scripts dated after 6/22/14. My biggest hope is to take my husband and my 16 year old kid in to vouch that they are holding my pills and I am following her rules, no messing around. I'm hoping she will write one prescription for the rest of the taper and let one of them hold it for me and we will swear never to call her or bother her again. Hell, she gave me her home number and I have YET to use the thing even though she commented "how much worse does it have to get before you think its OK to call me, you crazy lady" so she knows i'm not going to be bothering her with anything. It is the same routine as what we are doing now. I can tolerate 30 mg a day because I tried this week but that was with all the higher doses active.

I'm so scared. Can some of you folks that have been through the baptism by fire needed to do this, will you please help me with what I should ask for from her later today. Sorry to cry "urgent" but that appointment is at 11:30 central time

Here is what I came up with:

To reiterate what I wrote up in the beginning of this very wordy post: Currently: 30 mg a day in three doses (all mg will be in three dosages throughout the taper)

30 mg Week 5 (Current week)
27.5 mg for week 6
25 for week 7
22.5 week 8
20 week 9
17.5 week 10
15 week 11
12.5 week 12
10 week 13
7.5 week 14
5 week 15
2.5 week 16 and 17 (the 17th week is to have something to get a sliver or whatever to keep going lower for just a few more days or maybe max 2 weeks.)
-------------------------------
167.5 mg for all daily doses added together.

1172.5 total mg needed [167.5 X 7 (because those daily doses are daily for a week)]

This would be 234.5 of the 5 mg methadone tablets
or she could mix it up - some 10's and some 5's. It just has to total 1172.5 mg of methadone.


She used to write 360 10 mg without blinking an eye. Do you guys think she will do this since I've been really a model patient and she is very happy to see me taper instead of shop around for another doctor. She and I have had discussions about how she'd like me to taper off or find another doctor because she wanted to friends with me outside of the Doctor/Patient relationship. We like the same music and shop at the same places, etc. It has really be a very symbiotic relationship. However, it only goes so far and if she thinks its best and will be easy on me, an 16 year opiate user, drops my ass from 30 mg for 7 days, 20 mg for 7 days, and then 10 mg for 7 days and maybe 5 mg mg for 7 days, I may strangle her ass right is her office.

Any ideas, input, comments, or any kind of help would be so appreciated. By the way, My Screen Name is "Cure for Pain" but only because I love the band Morphine. I go by

Robyn

I believe that the 'dark night of the soul' is a common spiritual experience. I believe, too, that the answer is continued seeking and perseverance. It helps to know that others have endured a loss of faith.
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Re: Methadone taper with a doctor who scares me URGENT

Postby PrettyInPain » Mon Jun 09, 2014 11:04 am

Hi Robyn, and welcome to SubSux. I know your appointment is soon, so I'll make this quick. First of all, I'm by no means a methadone guru. Been on the junk over 5 years, was up to 100mg and have somehow managed to taper to 7mg. And my taper has been very slow, a lot slower than most clinics. My taper was 3mg every 2 weeks, but under 20mg it was 1mg every three weeks... Then 8mg got so bad that I held for a couple months, then I dropped to 7mg very recently. Even tapering that slow has been the hardest thing I've ever done in my life. I know you want to be on the ball for your son, and I know you probably don't want to hear this; but one option might be to transfer to another doctor and go on a slow and steady taper from there. I don't have kids, but there's no way I'd still have my job if I had to taper faster than I'm already tapering. There's a lovely lady here that just jumped off methadone at 4mg, and she was tapering about 1mg a week toward the end. I hope your appointment goes well, and I'm very sorry you're in this situation to begin with. Let us know what happens 8-)
I finally jumped!!! First day methadone-free: 12/16/14
Winter's gonna end, I'm gonna clean these veins again, so close to dying that I finally can start living.
For a star to be born, there is one thing that must happen: a gaseous nebula must collapse. 

So collapse. 
Crumble.
 This is not your destruction. 

This is your birth.
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Re: Methadone taper with a doctor who scares me URGENT

Postby Cure for Pain » Mon Jun 09, 2014 1:22 pm

Thanks to all who read and to PrettyinPain for the response. I talked the doc into giving me one prescription for 118 10 mg tablets which is what should see me through the taper above. I had my husband and son in the room with me to swear they would hold it. Her issue was she was closing shop and wouldn't be there if I got into trouble. She ended up caving in and making sure i had her home number. I've gone from 120 to 30 without any significant withdrawals except some lost sleep; however, I hear that the first part is a cakewalk compared to 30 mg and lower. I'll be dropping 2.5 mg a week until I am at zero. I have a weeks worth of 2.5 mg to use in slivers after that. It was the best I could talk her into doing. I'm hoping this will work. If it doesn't there is always the clinic I guess.

She also wrote me 180 clonodine.

I'm letting my son hold them. I am so crazy about that kid that i wouldn't let him down for the world. I figure letting him deal them out to me is my best chance.

I so want to be done with this but I am so scared. When my legs and arms start with that feeling like a rubber band being slowly tightened within them, I lose it. The rest of it is terrible, for sure, but do-able, if just barely. I just have always camped out in the bathroom and laid on the floor. Close to the toilet and with a bucket in case I need another receptacle. But that "can't sleep for the arms and legs seizing up" feeling drives me batshit every time.

This is my first effort to taper of methadone so I know statistics are against me but I really really want this.

I have been reading everything on here for days and I think this forum is just great. You've got all kinds of people contributing and that is what makes it special. I plan to keep everyone updated on my taper. I know I'll need the support and you guys are a supportive group of people, I 'll give you that!

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Re: Methadone taper with a doctor who scares me URGENT

Postby cheeps » Tue Jun 10, 2014 1:16 am

Robyn...you need as much flexiril as possible! Like a script for 120 if she will do it...also baclofen is good. This is for the RLS. Ask her if she will give you 5 Thorazine for the actual 'kick' you will experience on day 5-7. You would take this if you start to flail your arms or legs. I've used it twice in a detox prescribed by drs. I've not had good pc access but will check back tomorrow. Sara
10 yrs on methadone
Meth free 10/08
Back & Neck surgeries
Oxy free 12/06/14
More surgeries 2016-17
2017 Oxy taper in progress
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Re: Methadone taper with a doctor who scares me URGENT

Postby Not a 12 stepper » Wed Jun 11, 2014 11:06 am

Can you find a new doctor?
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Re: Methadone taper with a doctor who scares me URGENT

Postby Cure for Pain » Thu Jun 12, 2014 12:09 am

Sorry I haven't replied sooner - life is crazy sometimes as you all know.

I could find a new doctor I suppose, but I really want to take this chance to taper off. She did agree to my plan which gives me 17 weeks to come off of 30 mg. I have already dropped from 120 to 30 in 8 weeks painlessly. Sleep isn't as easy as it was, but that's my only complaint. I'm still getting enough sleep - I just miss lying down, closing my eyes and falling asleep within five minutes.

I'll keep you all posted. Cheeps, my appointment with her was at 11:30 and you posted around noon! I have a call in to her for the meds you recommended. I feel sure she will give me the Flexeril but the Thorazine is a fairly heavy duty tranquilizer, isn't it?

Thanks to All,

Robyn
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Re: Methadone taper with a doctor who scares me URGENT

Postby Not a 12 stepper » Thu Jun 12, 2014 10:49 pm

It's great that your motivated, but tapering methadone should be done at a slower pace if at all possible...
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