Monday, July 26, 2010

The indescribable pain is gone. It is a miracle. (My doctor's word choice & I concur).

The pain arrived at the end of January. I started taking Vicodin (acetaminophen and hydrocodone) to cope. And I just stopped taking it last week. That's a long, long time (for someone who has never taken narcotics). Vicodin gave me the ability to slightly function; without it, I would have never gotten out of bed.

After six straight months of daily Vicodin use, it is fair to say that my body has become dependent on this drug. I didn't worry about this when I was in pain. I knew I would have to deal with it someday, but it was a small price to pay for the relief.

Last week, I started to reduce my use. I wanted to just stop taking it completely, to be done with it forever. But I knew that wasn't the way to do it. I would have to wean off the drug.

The first and worst symptom I experienced was extreme body aches. It was similar to the last time I got a terrible flu. My entire body screamed. I felt like I couldn't move. It was a frightening reaction, as if my whole body was demanding this drug.

Nausea, headaches, stuffy nose, shortness of breath & anxiety soon joined the body aches. I called my doctor's office for help. The doctor suggested I switch to Darvocet since it is not as strong as Vicodin. I was instructed to take the Darvocet at the times I was taking Vicodin, and reduce by one dose each week. I am now taking two Darvocet pills a day. I am still having minor withdrawal symptoms, but the Darvocet has helped. I can't wait to stop taking it all together, to take one more step toward a healthier life.


Alanna Klapp said...

Love the picture and the post, and I hope you are feeling better!!! You have made huge strides and I'm so excited for you to be all the way better!!! =)

Jenn said...

Aww, thank you so much!

I thought that picture was too funny, I couldn't resist! :)

KD said...

I am terrified of this!! I've been on percocet for months now. I'm afraid of dependence so I'm tapering down, but my pain is still the same so it is VERY difficult! How long did it take to experience withdrawal symptoms? A day? Week?

Jenn said...

Hey KD,

I didn't even begin to taper down until my pain decreased. There was just no way. I know it is very difficult and scary. Sorry to hear you are going through it too. :(

I am still taking one Darvocet per day, so I am not totally off of it yet. I took two a day for a few weeks. I have been taking one a day now for about a week & am doing okay with it. I am planning to stop next week, so I can let you know how that goes.

I definitely recommend talking to a doctor you trust about it. I needed help figuring it out. The symptoms now are much less severe. The worst of it was for about a week. Now I just seem to get a runny, stuffy nose & slight headache.

I hope that helps.

Take care,