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Walking the line...
  1. #1
    nancy317 is offline Member
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    Default Walking the line...

    I'm Nancy and while I am brand new to posting I have been on the boards reading for several months now. I've been doing a lot of thinking and thought that maybe I could find support here as I decide what to do.

    I have several medical conditions that cause moderate to severe pain and have been in pain management for 8 years now. Due to one of my health conditions I am very limited in what I can take for pain with meds like NSAIDS, aspirin, and steroids being out of the question which is why I was put on oxycodone 8 years ago. My dosing schedule has been 3 5 mg pills 4 times a day which keeps my pain bearable enough to allow me to do every day things like chores around the house and run errands. For that I am grateful because when my pain levels are high I am very limited in what I can do and it makes me feel like a huge burden on my dear hubby who really has been a godsend to me.

    And yet......

    I feel numb. That is the best way to describe it. I feel that the medication numbs my emotions causing me to think that while the meds help me be physically productive they stunt my growth emotionally. That might sound silly but I feel that it stops me from feeling on a deeper level...on a level that my hubby deserves. We've got a solid marriage and I love my hubby with all of me but our lives are stressful enough with my health issues and he deserves a wife who can be more in tune emotionally and support him like he supports me.

    I have brought this up with both of my doctors and expressed that I am seriously considering taking a medication holiday and depending on how that goes maybe walking away from the oxycodone for good. Both doctors feel that I should stay on the meds and while I respect both of them I feel like they are being a bit closed minded. So I spoke with hubby and told him that I was going to stop the meds for 3 months to see if that helps with my emotions and to see what my baseline pain level is without them. He is concerned but said that he will support me in whatever I decide so 5 days ago I quit cold turkey.

    Not fun but doable and I think that I am over the worst part of physical WD but I find myself not eating, not sleeping, and feeling extremely restless. Does anyone know how long those symptoms will last???

    I have not decided what I'll do in the long term but in the short term I want off the meds.

    That's all for now. Thank you for reading and have the best day that you can. ~smiles~

  2. #2
    Sunshine1112 is offline Advanced Member
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    Nancy I can relate to your story. I was on the same meds for so long. I knew they were not helping anymore as I had a developed a tolerance but I was so scared of letting go. It gets to the point that you either take pain meds the rest of your life or find some kind of happy medium.

    Your pain can actually get worse before it gets better. Brain will use pain as a way of tryng to get the drug back. More experienced person can explain better with the proper definition. You may find that after 90 days of going thru all this you don't want to start up again as the pain can be easier to deal with then having to go thru all this again. I wish I could help out with how long systoms last as it can be different for everyone. You can try different vitamins to help as well. Stay strong!!!
    Last edited by Anonymous; 02-18-2015 at 09:05 AM.
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  3. #3
    Randy35 is offline Platinum Member
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    Hey Nancy - Sunshine gave you an excellent response and basically said what I ws gonna say. Strong pain meds like opiates can actually cause pain, sometimes called rebound pain. Like Sunshine mentioned, your brain can cause false pain levels making you think you need more meds. It can continue repeating itself until the patient needs the meds to keep from having withdrawals, and to keep from feeling sick. Once entirely off the pain meds you can establish just how much true pain you're having. It may even be controlled to a certain degree with OTC meds. Maybe not, but it's certainly worth it to find out!

    That was very courageous of you to stop the Oxy CT. Takes a strong person to do that I know. You should be well past the most severe physical symptoms of withdrawals. The mental issues can last a while longer unfortunately. Each day does get better then the previous one. In around 2 weeks you should feel remarkably better than you do now. Some depression is usually evident when stopping opiates too. And lack of energy or motivation also happens.

    You can try vitamins as Sunshine suggested. What also helps is protein in the way of food or real good protein shakes you make yourself or purchase. Drinking PLENTY of fluids helps flush the toxins out faster. The one thing that will help the most is getting as much exercise as you possibly can with your your physical limitations in mind. You don't have to jog 5 miles, just a walk around the block does wonders! You need your natural endorphins working and exercise will do just that. Maybe some Vitamin B's would be beneficial like B6, B12, and B Complex. Theres also things like L-Tyrosine for energy, but it can make you jittery if too much is taken. You should always inform your doctor first before taking any vitamins or supplements just to be cautious.

    Hope this helps Nancy and hope you feel better real soon. Keep us updated and post often - it really helps!

    -Randy

    P.S. Also theres Melatonin and/or Valerian Root for sleep issues. Both can really help. And theres Sleepy Time Tea also.
    Last edited by Anonymous; 02-18-2015 at 12:08 PM.
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  4. #4
    Thisweekforsure is offline Advanced Member
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    I'm in your exact situation. Was on oxycodone for several years and also decided to take a break to see what my "baseline" condition is. I also have problems taking NSAIDS and most other drugs. So I stopped the oxy last year, I was on about your dose and maybe my experience will be comparable to yours. I felt very low energy for a few more days, my muscles were like jelly, like I had no strength. This lasted a week or week and a half. I felt no motivation to do anything. This lasted maybe a couple of weeks. My appetite took a lot longer to return. I had no interest in food for maybe a month or more but I just focused on eating small amounts of healthy foods and avoiding junk. Sleep has always been a problem for me but I did pretty well using natural sleep formulas involving melatonin, valerian root, stuff like that.

    I would say I was back to normal or rather, a very happy new normal by about two months or maybe less, if memory serves. I think it was a great decision to take a break from the opiates for me and you will probably find that to be true for you also. Your idea to give it at least 3 months is spot on, I think by 3 months you will have a good grasp of how you are going to do without the painkillers.

    For me, I had a really rough spot at the holidays. My pain returned times 10 and I was bedridden, so I went back on the oxycodone but at a much lower dose, for a few weeks. Recently I stopped again and the withdrawals were nothing much compared to before. The good thing was that a really low dose had me up and functioning for my family. The bad news is that I hated having to take them again. The foggy brain, the side effects, similar to you, I don't like the way they numb my mind. My goal is to not have to take them at all, but when it came down to not participating in Thanksgiving dinner with my family, I realized that was more important. FOR ME maybe not for others on this board and maybe not for you, the option stays open for the future. But overall, I believe I am much better off not being on them every day, much happier, more emotionally enriched, more stable mood and so on. But I believe it is very, very important to keep your nutrition right. Avoid sugar, learn about nurturing your health. Randy and sunshine have very good suggestions. Best of luck to you.
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  5. #5
    Sunshine1112 is offline Advanced Member
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    I almost think that when you truly used them for pain that it gives you more will power. No doubt was I dependent on them and no doubt am I having to retrain my brain to be without them. There are days when my pain is bad and I have stayed in bed but there have been so many other days that it has been the same when I was taking. Again my brain was so used to functioning on a daily basis with them that it is now struggling. Really the motivation comes back I so struggle with the anxiety thing. I also think what did me in was the tramadol as I took that as well as the hydros and the fact that it had the anti-dep in it and I was on that for a 11 years.

  6. #6
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    Sunshine - until I started here, I honestly did not know Tramadol was addicting. I escaped that drug barely. My doctor had given me a prescription over a year ago and for some I didn't fill it... I give you so much credit Sunshine. You gave up a lot! You give a lot. It is about re-training your brain. That is what I have to work on. You have got it down.

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    Sunshine1112 is offline Advanced Member
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    Quote Originally Posted by hope1211 View Post
    Sunshine - until I started here, I honestly did not know Tramadol was addicting. I escaped that drug barely. My doctor had given me a prescription over a year ago and for some I didn't fill it... I give you so much credit Sunshine. You gave up a lot! You give a lot. It is about re-training your brain. That is what I have to work on. You have got it down.
    Hope I do not have it down. I have the talk but am ways off from the walk. I am still very fragile. You are so lucky to escape those nasty pills. Never in my life will I ever touch another tramadol.

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    nancy317 is offline Member
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    Randy,

    Thank you for your post and advice it has really helped me today. I will bring up the vitamins and supplements to my doctor since I need to verify with her that they are safe with my blood clotting disorder.

    I did force myself to walk at the track today but only did 3 laps and it took 20 minutes. I am trying to force myself to eat something but the nausea totally sucks.

    I finally slept for 2 hours this afternoon after 4 nights with very little sleep!!!!!! This is awesome since it's hard to concentrate when up for that long.

    Anyways, I hope that you have a good night and thanks again for the advice and support it is greatly appreciated. :-)

    Hugs,

    Nancy
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  9. #9
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    Sunshine, I know you are fragile, and it's a very thin line we walk on. I hope beyond hope that when I said you have it down, I only meant it in the most sincerest way. You and Mommy and, of course Dave goes without saying, seem like rocks to me. I want you to know I am here to support you. I do this by admiration. I most certainly do not want you to feel anything but good of what you have done and what you will continue to do. When you talk to me about tapering, you seem to have it so worked out. I would have never have thought of all the ways or avenues to go down that you posted. I had to read and re-read your post because of the detail in the different ways you were suggesting I could taper. I know you must take one day at a time too. Be strong Sunshine.

  10. #10
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    Nancy, sorry for posting on your thread to Sunshine. I sometimes can't get it right on the posting....

    Good for you on Day 5. That is impressive. I feel much like you as I want to be me again, not the shell of a pill and what I think it brings me. I too have a good relationship with my husband, but it has been a quiet one for a long time. I didn't like to go out for dinner, social settings, etc. all because of the pill. It has ruled me for too long. I, unlike you, am trying to taper. I think it's wonderful you are CT. That is where I want to be. I know that numb feeling only too well. I am glad or will be glad to permanently say goodbye to it. Know that you are supported and will be supported. Keep posting. It took me a while to do it, and I am glad I did.
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  11. #11
    nancy317 is offline Member
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    This week,

    Thank you for sharing your experiences with me it does indeed sound a lot like what I am going through. I think that 3 months is a good test run to see how we do with out the pain medication since hopefully by then the possibility of rebound pain might be gone and we can truly see where our baseline pain falls on the pain scale. I have no clue if I'll stay off the medication at the 90 day mark or not since for now I am taking it day by day.

    Did you find that when you went back on the oxy after 2 months that your tolerance went down at all? Did the lower dose help?? Did you still experience the numb feeling at the lower dose?? Has your doctor been supportive?

    Sorry for the 20 questions lol. I hope that you had a good day and that tonight will be a restful night for you.

    Hugs,

    Nancy

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    nancy317 is offline Member
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    Sunshine,

    Thank you for responding to me on your thread earlier today. Your words really helped me today esp. when I had one of my mini panic attacks. Your posts helped me stay as grounded as possible keeping me out of complete panic mode. -hugs-

    Congrats on getting off the tramadol!! My hubby was on those for his back and after only 3 months he went through hell when he stopped it CT.

    You've got a big heart being able to help so many others even though you are still in a fragile state. I like that word for how we need to train our brains to live with out pain meds doing so makes me feel very fragile indeed.

    Hang in there hon and I'll pray that tomorrow is full of sunshine to help lift your mood a bit.

    Hugs,

    Nancy
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    nancy317 is offline Member
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    Hope,

    No worries at all about posting to sunshine!!! The important thing is that she was able to see it. :-)

    I've got to go help hubby make dinner and try to eat if I can. I'll write on your thread later as it is one of the threads that I have been following and it has really help me get the courage to start posting here.

    Hugs,

    Nancy
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    I will look forward to it Nancy, but I must tell you, I am the grandma of the bunch and go to bed early. LOL. If I do not reply until morning, you will know why. I look at everyone's posts see 11, 12 or 3 a.m. and I am like oh my gosh! I'm lucky if I make it past 8:30! I am sure, however, as my taper is more and more, I may be one of those who are posting at Midnight (but gosh, I hope not!)

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    nancy317 is offline Member
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    Today is day 6 and while my stomach is feeling better I'm still experiencing muscle aches,deep bone aches, anxiety and lack of sleep. I just took a hot shower which helped ease the aches and pains it also made me WIDE awake. Feeling extremely restless and my attention span is that of a gnat.

    Something cool happened last night which was that the hubby and I cooked dinner together and I managed to eat my first meal since going CT. We enjoy cooking together and for the first time in a long time I had a lot of fun making dinner where as before it seemed more like a chore. The best part was that truly enjoyed ourselves and have plans on doing it again tonight.

    I am blessed in that I have such a wonderful hubby who is truly my best friend and rock. I can't imagine trying to detox with out his loving support.

    I'm having a hard time concentrating so I'm going to stop and post more later.

    *HUGS* for anyone who may need one today!!!!
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  16. #16
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    Nancy - thanks for posting so honestly. So glad you enjoyed something with your husband and are doing this. Day 6 is awesome! Hugs coming your way too. Please keep up the good work and be strong. I'll try and write more later. Very sleepy this morning for some reason... Have to get moving.
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  17. #17
    Sunshine1112 is offline Advanced Member
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    I know what you mean about hubby he is one of my rocks in this as well. Although my biggest rock is my family here. Glad dinner was so good hopefully getting off the pills is accomplishing what you wanted. Have a great day!!!
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    Thisweekforsure is offline Advanced Member
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    Quote Originally Posted by Sunshine1112 View Post
    Hope I do not have it down. I have the talk but am ways off from the walk. I am still very fragile. You are so lucky to escape those nasty pills. Never in my life will I ever touch another tramadol.
    ME TOO. I actually asked my doctor way back to give me tramadol instead of Percoset because I thought it was a "less addictive" drug. This was back when it was first being marketed and they were tooting it as non-addictive. I thought I was doing the right thing. But I learned over the years....

  19. #19
    Thisweekforsure is offline Advanced Member
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    Quote Originally Posted by nancy317 View Post

    Something cool happened last night which was that the hubby and I cooked dinner together and I managed to eat my first meal since going CT. We enjoy cooking together and for the first time in a long time I had a lot of fun making dinner where as before it seemed more like a chore. The best part was that truly enjoyed ourselves and have plans on doing it again tonight.

    Wow Nancy, that is exactly what happened with me. On day 5 I finally felt safe to go out (from the bathroom issues) and my husband took me to dinner. I had a great time, felt wonderful. That was the turning point. After that there were still the lingering effects as I described, but the worst was over and that dinner was the pivotal event.
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  20. #20
    Melina123 is offline Senior Member
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    Hi Nancy! Just wanted to say congrats on your CT! I see that you are moving forward nicely. Glad u were able to cook and actually eat it. Keep posting, it truly does.help. We r here for u! Xo
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  21. #21
    Thisweekforsure is offline Advanced Member
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    Quote Originally Posted by nancy317 View Post
    This week,

    Thank you for sharing your experiences with me it does indeed sound a lot like what I am going through. I think that 3 months is a good test run to see how we do with out the pain medication since hopefully by then the possibility of rebound pain might be gone and we can truly see where our baseline pain falls on the pain scale. I have no clue if I'll stay off the medication at the 90 day mark or not since for now I am taking it day by day.
    I neglected to say I did have severe rebound pain but most of that was in the first week. Being off them completely now I have no more pain than I did when on them. The only difference is that when on them, if I was in pain I could take one and have a pain free hour which gave me more control. Not being on them, if I am in pain, I need to lie down and rest, take a nap, or try Tylenol (which is problematic but I don't use it often) or just be somewhat less functional (not cook dinner for example, ask others for help). What I find is that the pain event passes and a few hours later I am just as happy or even happier than I would have been on the pills, and I don't have the constipation and other effects of having taken a pill. So really the only benefit of being on them was that little extra degree of scheduling control, but I find it's not difficult to work my life around that.

    Did you find that when you went back on the oxy after 2 months that your tolerance went down at all? Did the lower dose help?? Did you still experience the numb feeling at the lower dose?? Has your doctor been supportive?
    I was off the oxy for four months when I needed to go back and YES a much lower dose was effective. When I quit I had been taking 60 mg per day. When I went back around Thanksgiving I only took 10 mg per day and it was extremely effective. However, my tolerance quickly went back up. A month later I needed to take 30 mg per day. The total time was six weeks when I got off them again and for those six weeks I was only taking 30 mg per day for about the last two weeks and even then it was variable. Ten some days, twenty others. So yes, the tolerance goes ALL the way back down. However because of being on it for years earlier, it goes back up much more quickly than someone taking opiates for the very first time.

    I did have the "numb" feeling I suppose but it did not bother me this time as much. It was short term, I KNEW I would only be on them very briefly and the benefit of literally being able to sit at the table with my family and then participate in the whole Christmas holiday compared to spending that time in the bedroom in misery, there is just no comparison. My emotions may have been dulled but at least I was THERE and they weren't so dulled that I didn't love and enjoy my family.

    But I was keenly aware of how quickly the tolerance rebuilt and I was adamant about stopping no matter what, when January came and I could have "the flu" again, however this time the withdrawal was not bad. The mental part was worse, dreary winter and all. It definitely was not fun and I will avoid having to do it again if at all possible.

    Yes my doctors are very supportive, I love them. I have a primary doctor and several specialists. Only one of them prescribes all my medications and they send each other reports and keep up with my case. I discuss my medications with all of my doctors and listen carefully to all of their input on my treatment plan. I feel like it's teamwork, and there is good consensus about my treatment.
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  22. #22
    nancy317 is offline Member
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    Thank you to those that posted on my thread today it is appreciated. Day 6 is proving to be a tough one with the perfect storm of increased pain, nausea, only getting one hour of sleep and a serious issue going on with our adult son.

    I'm going to jump into the shower to see if that gets me out of this funk or at the very least help ease the pain. I'll post more later.

  23. #23
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    You're doing great! Keep up the positive attitude of the bigger picture of getting your life back. It takes time so please be patient with yourself and understand we didn't get this way over night.
    You're in the right place and I am so thankful you found this site as I did when I began my journey to self
    I took a lot of hot baths, like at least 3 or 4 a day. I tried to do normal things and it took more out of me so I relaxed when I could. I ended up going back to work during the worst of it and although it was the toughest thing I did, it actually made the day go by faster. I used a lot of the items on the Thomas recipe and really found L-Tyrosine (500 mg caps) from the health food store worked with the cognitive fatigue. Also upped my vitamins such as B complex and multi. Just some things that helped me I thought I would share.
    I loved reading how you're enjoying hubby time. Its one of the most rewarding things I enjoyed as well. I thought we would get divorced in this process and turns out we just became closer.
    Well congrats girl and keep up the great work. I can tell you're going to do this because you want it so bad! Congrats!
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  24. #24
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    Nancy - I want to lend you my support. Day 6, with what you were taking, your pain, and issues is a true accomplishment. I want you to know that your post is an inspiration to me. Please continue to be strong and keep posting. You sound very determined.
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  25. #25
    Sunshine1112 is offline Advanced Member
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    Nancy hope the shower helped. Maybe try and get into bed early tonight or cuddle in bed with hubby. I know about the pain somedays its like please don't give me a bad pain day on a bad mental day. Not good!!!! Those are the days I do nothing. Nothing but stay in bed and stay close to the board. I know you always can't do that as we all have commitments but when all else fails and its either take a pill or do nothing I chose nothing. As whatever it is can wait as i can only do so much on those perfect storm day. I am sending good vibes thru the screen...wait...wait....catch!!!!...lol...tomorrow will be a new day.
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  26. #26
    Thisweekforsure is offline Advanced Member
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    Quote Originally Posted by nancy317 View Post
    and a serious issue going on with our adult son.
    .
    Stress sets off the withdrawal symptoms. You have to take care of yourself. Whatever is going on with him, try to dump it from your mind for now. No sleep will exacerbate everything. If you have Benadryl or a muscle relaxer or anything to help get some sleep, do it. HANG IN THERE. You will be feeling better soon.
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  27. #27
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    Nancy - I will be thinking of you today. I hope each day gets better for you. I truly mean that.

    Thisweekforsure said that stress sets of the withdrawal symptoms. That makes sense. I guess we just need to find out how to reduce stress now. Sleep does help. Try to be good to yourself today. There are some people I just feel like I have connection to. You are one of them. I'll be looking for your posts today. It helps.
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  28. #28
    nancy317 is offline Member
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    Well it's day seven and for the first time I wake up well rested after passing out cold for twelve hours. After all the restlessness and the sleepless nights I finally just crashed and burned. I am usually a very light sleeper but the Hubby said that I slept like a rock and only woke up when I did because he was shaking me not wanting me to get so far into my funk that I sleep the day away. Too little sleep causes it's own set of issues...too much sleep and you are using sleep as a coping mechanism. So how does one get it just right?

    It doesn't surprise me that stress adds to the symptoms of WD since it is known to have a negative affect on one's health in general. It was that added stress from having our kiddo living with us that had to go for the sake of my overall health. A few months ago my PCP put it bluntly. The high stress level from what is going on with my son is killing me slowly and it was her opinion that he needed to move out. -sighs- He has moved out but when we hear about certain things happening like we did yesterday all the stress and anxiety comes flooding back like a raging river and suddenly I feel like the worst Momma bear that ever lived. If only love and support could wash away all his issues and struggles he would have been 'cured' long ago.

    Between all that and my physical pain sky rocketing yesterday I am proud that I didn't take any pain medication. Honestly if I could make it through yesterday I can take whatever else is thrown my way just in baby steps one step at a time. I didn't even have an urge to take the medication yesterday which I find interesting. I'm not sure if it's because I never abused the medication, never ran out early...always took as Rx'd on a dosing schedule but I don't mentally crave the meds. PHYSICAL dependence is a whole different story with my body and brain needing to be rewired not to rely on the meds for pain control.

    Yesterday both my PCP and my Hubby told me that I should get back on the meds since they were helping with my pain before I decided to simply stop C/T. While that is true it did help with the pain I am quite stuck in the train of thought that my body, mind and soul needs a medication break. I've been honest in saying that at this point in time I am only committing to three months off the medication so that I can see if it eases the brain fog and figure out what my true pain baseline feels like. It has not been easy to go C/T but I am determined to go day by day...step by step...until days turn into weeks and weeks turn into three months. I have no clue what I'll decide in three months and frankly I'm not fixating on that too much but rather focusing on what will get me to that point. Does that make sense?

    I am truly lucky that even though my Hubby nor my doc completely agree with my choice they both have respected that it is MY choice and I am grateful for that just like I am grateful to those that have reached out on my thread. It means a lot to me, more than I can express and once I am out of this little funk that I am in I plan on reaching out more to others and offering my support and caring.

    OK I must be feeling a little better since I've babbled on here in this post. Usually when in a funk I get bottled up and very quiet. I think that all that sleep has really helped.

    Hugs to all that need one today and a special thank you to those that have reached out to me. You are appreciated.

    Nancy

  29. #29
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    Nancy - you are one strong lady. With all that you have went through and are going through--mentally, physically, and still, you are determined. Your posting and openness is helping me, if that is any consolation. I appreciate your sharing and honesty and the fact that you are "winning" or succeeding in what you set out to do. Our loved ones can really test every emotion that we have, can't they? Please, be confident in the choices you make. We can only do so much for people. The rest we have no control over. We only have control over ourselves. A big hug to you Nancy. Don't let the funk get all bottled up. Come talk to us. We are here.

  30. #30
    Sunshine1112 is offline Advanced Member
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    Nancy my dr and hubby did not understand my decision either. If you need it take it...after all you are not abusing it so its ok.....you would not tell someone with highblood pressure do not take meds. I can't say I never took more than I was suppose to but I never ran short to be in wds. Wish I could say I never craved or am not going thru the mental stuff. .

    I think it would be good if you could use for pain when the bad days kick in but you know dealing with pain on any level is not easy and how do you say oh this amount of pain is ok to deal with but not this amount. I don't know but I am glad you were able to have a good day and get some good sleep.

    Big Hugs Nancy!!!

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