Fentanyl cold-turkey, want to die already

Posted , 4 users are following.

I feel all of your pain here and wonder what has helped you guys get through all of this?

I have very much the same miserable medical diagnosis history as many/most of you and also a cytochrome imbalance which prevents metabolism of most opiates. I've been on 75-100mcg x 24-48 hours for the past 5 years, more with surgeries of course (methadone and other high dose injectable narcotics before that which changed when we found the CYP imbalances), along with high doses of oxycodone or dilaudid for breakthrough.

I first made the mistake of moving from CA to WA to take care of my mom, but luckily I quickly found a wonderful doctor in WA to continue my medication therapies. During this last late July and early August I slowly moved to TX because my daughter got into college here and it's been the worst experience of my life. 10+ doctors, over $2500 out of pocket expenses and more coming due to ER visits and nobody wants anything to do with me. So no tapering down, no medical detox, no possibility of even assisting therapy such as clonodine. I went from at least 75mcg with added breakthrough meds to absolutely nothing (they won't even continue the Estrogen I have taken since my complete hysterectomy in 2012 so let's add hormone imbalance along with cold turkey detox, yay). The withdrawals are absolutely feeling like if it doesn't kill me I might like it to just to end this hell. On top of the typical withdrawal hell and miserable pain that I know won't go away much after the withdrawal because I've done this before, only medically controlled, I've been having seizures along with times where it feels like my brain is stroking off and I can't move or speak or control my breathing. I'm so broke that I've had to deny 911 and ER visits now (like when I publicly collapsed with another seizure in Kroger's), and since I have no history of epilepsy I'm terrified they'll take my drivers license away and also terrified if I drive I could have another episode and hurt someone or myself or worse. 

I've been working through my old CBT pain therapy workbooks on my own as well as meditating as often as I can but I still feel like nothing is helping. I have never felt so helpless and scared in my life. I know my brain is stuck in fight or flight mode because of the chemistry changes but I can't stand the idea that this could last for years in addition to the constant state of pain.

Sorry I'm venting so much, I honestly just wanted to know what, if anything, has helped anybody else going through this inhumane and horrendous process?

?Much love and appreciation.

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5 Replies

  • Posted

    Dear NeedMe,   I am so sorry for what you are going thru.  I have family in Texas that want me to move back there but my fear of not getting Pain Management have been a deciding factor to remain where I am.  CAn you return to your previous state with medical care until you get detoxed?  I would contact my insurance company of previous if you have not already.  FDA guidelines are scaring doctors from helping patients.  I had to go thru surgery without surgical pain control after procedure even here in Northeast.  Sorry but that is the only suggestion I have for you.  You seem to be using all the tools pain management teaches.  Not ssure if you are able to exercise but that will help also if you can by uping your endorphines.  Praying you find relief soon



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    • Posted

      Hi Susan thank you for your reply. I'm so sorry to hear about your surgery, I can't imagine going through any of mine without any pain control. I had contacted my previous insurance and you are so right about these FDA guidelines that seem to have no understanding of what people may actually need, it seems they believe that valid prescription medication taken as prescribed is just as bad as as the abusers and addicts so they feel it necessary to frighten doctors and even insurance companies. I am unable to return to my previous state and still unable to exercise at all though I wish I could for even a little endorphin release. Thank you for your thoughts and support however, I hope you are feeling well.

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  • Posted

    The other part of this is that I have ME/CFS/Fibromyalgia and though I've been lucky enough to keep it mostly in remission this horrible detox process has put me into full relapse. If anyone knows of any resources or suggestions I would love to hear them. I'm currently only taking DLPA (dl-phenylalanine), l-glutamine, and mega dose C but so far been unable to find any relief or noticable response.

    Thanks to everyone using this site.

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    • Posted

      Where in TX do you live?  I know of 2 wonderful places that might help. I just can't believe They are  letting you suffer like that!  Well yea I can because of tougher restrictions. I would also suggest trying to move back until you can safely detox. I don't know how you've made it this far. If you need 911 or the ER then go. Pay only what you can afford. If 5 then so be it!  The more you have to go because of emergency then They will take it more serious and send you to pain management. Good luck!

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  • Posted

    Firstly let me express my deepest sympathy to you - what an absolutely terrible set of circumstances; you are right, this is utterly inhumane. The fact that the people causing you this agony are supposed to be 'doctors' is appalling, and I feel they should have their licence to practise taken away.

    Coming from the UK, I don't know how it works in the USA, but here ones medical notes and history would be shared between ones previous doctor and a new one if one were to move to another part of the country, so that ones new doctor would have a full set of information to work from when assessing their new patient (you) and deciding on the right course of treatment. If this is not the case in the USA, I would still think it might be worthwhile trying to get your notes from your previous doctor to show your new one.

    I have never heard of the cytochrome imbalance your refer to, but given that opiates in general don't work for you I am surprised that Fentanyl works. Unfortunately for you there is, as I'm sure you know, a general 'panic' about Fentanyl abuse - largely due to the press, and the fact that the illegality of effective opiates such as heroin (without prescription) has caused a massive rise in the illicit use of Fentanyl, and I can only assume that this is part of the reason the doctors in Texas are so reluctant to prescribe it. Just one example of the short-sighted stupidity of the 'war on drugs' having exactly the opposite effect to its supposed intentions - it is a fake war being fought by politicians whose only real aim is to make themselves look as if they are 'doing something' - the fact that what they are doing is entirely counter-productive doesn't matter to them, as long as an ignorant public believes the lies fed to them by the media. None of which is any help to you, I'm afraid.

    You don't say what the initial cause of your pain, and therefore your need for pain relief, actually was/is, but it is mind-boggling that 10 doctors - so far - seem to be ignoring the reality of your problem without proposing some kind of treatment. Have they suggested any alternatives to the Fentanyl they refuse to prescribe you? If not, I have to ask myself 'why not'?

    My initial response to reading this, very sad., letter was the impractical thought "move to Europe" where a doctor is not constrained by a need for popularity or kow-towing to either politicians or insurance companies. Again, no help to you I'm afraid, but another example of the blatant stupidity and inhumanity of the American system, which leaves patients in need open to manipulation, deprivation, cruelty, and having their genuine needs way down on the list of priorities - the absolute opposite of what is needed. I cannot imagine why anyone sane would think the system is any good at all, it is one of the most crass examples of the profit motive being more important that basic human decency.

    I don't think I am allowed to share links here, but by using google I found, and joined, an internet discussion forum which helped people who wished, or needed, to buy medication online without prescription. The use of this forum and shared information as to what sites were genuine and reliable, as opposed to those which were scams. I know, from that forum, that it is possible to purchase what you need, and that there are reliable sources within the USA. Obviously this is far from ideal, especially if you are - as you say - broke; but at least it is possible to go that route if you absolutely have to. Another course of action which has just occurred to me, is voluntary admission to a drug rehab centre - at least they would (one would hope) be better informed than your doctor seems to be, and might help with the transition from dependence to abstinence - I do not wish to imply that you are an addict for any other reason than medical need, but such a unit may be the best place to find medical understanding of the difficult position you find yourself in. A third possibility you might consider (if it is available in Texas) it the use of medical marijuana which, I am given to understand, can be useful in pain control in a relatively harmless way, and of the kind of nausea and debilitating effects of withdrawal. Some people also report success with such alternative therapies as acupuncture.

    Your letter makes me so deeply angry at the horrific system that allows such suffering in the hypocritical name of 'freedom', when all it really does is to allow and encourage the exploitation of the most vulnerable by the most cynical. The fact that our own deeply corrupt government here in the UK seems hell bent on the privatisation of our beloved National Health System, to follow the American lead is utterly depressing and - to my mind - indefensible.

    I am so sorry not to be able to offer very much by way of practical help - I do hope that the existence of this forum as a means of sharing your experiences is, at least, some small help.

    Ultimately, your withdrawal symptoms will slowly decrease, and from that point of view you WILL slowly begin to feel slightly better - I worry though that your basic problem, the need for pain relief at all, is not being addressed and I think persistence with doctors on that score is essential (though I understand how hard that can be, even when one is not burdened by the additional nightmare of withdrawal). Though it may not be easy (I don't know the physical reasons for your pain) exercise  - the more vigorous the better - is a good way of making your body create endorphins, natures own pain medication.

    I feel for you, genuinely, and wish you the very very best of luck, and a healthy pain free future.



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