Progress Report: 5 weeks post-accident


I am restless, irritable, and discontented.

Had an appointment with the doctor yesterday. Progress is slow but steady. I am now allowed to rest my foot on the floor (without putting any weight on it.) I also, on my request, switched from Percoset to Tramadol.

As an addict in recovery, taking Percoset was pretty scary. I took a number of precautions, including having my husband control the meds (so I don’t “forget” that I already took it.) We had also decreased the dosage of Percocet, from 1 every 4 hours to 1 every 6 hours, as soon as possible, and then switched to Tramadol which has significantly less potential for addiction. (Tramadol is a Schedule IV drug while Percocet is a Schedule II.)

As a result, I think I am experiencing mild opioid withdrawal. From what I’ve read, Tramadol helps with the Percocet withdrawal while also used to control moderate pain. I was only on the Percocet 5 weeks, but coming off it is still uncomfortable. I’ve heard it explained that opiate withdrawal feels like the flu only 10x worse.

My biggest symptom was my back and upper arms. They ached unlike anything I have ever experienced and hope I never have to again. Throughout the night, I experienced sweats and occasional chills. Today, the aches come and go. Moving seems to help with the aches, but I’m cranky as all get-out!!!

Seriously, don’t breathe in my direction. My emotions are all over the place. Actually, maybe only two places: sad and homicidal.

I have never experienced this before. What I can say is that I now have a much deeper empathy for folks suffering withdrawal. Mine was minimal. I can’t imagine the anguish of someone who had been on opiates or opiods (prescribed or from the street) for years.

I have 29 years in recovery, and still had the fleeting thought, “is getting off this worth it?” I now know what a phenomenal miracle it is for anyone addicted to opiates (or opioids) to get clean.

For those new in recovery, I swear to you that this will pass. I know your pain is exponentially more powerful than mine. I’m not a doctor, and would be the first to recommend going off opiates under the supervision of a doctor to help with the symptoms.

I also know that life in recovery is so far better than anything I could have imagined. Perhaps the greatest gift of recovery is contentment. That is the peace to just sit, be me, and have that be OK. I don’t have it right now, but I know that I will get back there. I’ll be so glad when this is over!



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