Opiate Q&A Part 1…

Q: You wrote early in your blog that you followed guidelines for post-acute
withdrawals (PAWS). Can you give us a little insight into what those
guidelines entailed; were they shared by your doctor?

A: I was not given any information by my doctor on PAWS. I was actually told word for word, by my primary doctor at my 6months mark off all opiates, “There is no way you are still having withdrawals.” Completely dismissing me and what I was going through due to quitting 195mg/day of opiates cold turkey. Now looking back I would have done a MUCH slower taper to have not had such severe PAWS, though at the time all I knew was what I had researched and that was how to survive the acute withdrawals. I stumbled upon PAWS once I had already quit the opiates.

I have attached the link to one of the best descriptions of PAWS I have found.

https://mentalhealthdaily.com/2015/06/12/post-acute-withdrawal-syndrome-causes-symptoms-treatment/

 

Q: You were tested for numerous conditions based on your symptoms. What was
that process been like and what did you discover or learn from the process?

A: Long and daunting. I was pretty much left to figure out what was going on with my body on my own. It’s been 14months since I quit the opiates. I took the approach that I was having problems in multiple areas so I broke them down and started with what I thought could still be causing me these debilitating issues. I came up with the possibility of something wrong with my four level cervical fusion, MS, Fibromyalgia and possibly Arachnoiditis due to severe reactions from previous steroid injections. I started with my neurosurgeon to go over my fusion. Everything looked good there, just a bit more arthritis in my C7, T1 vertebrae. I was previously given the diagnosis of a “failed back surgery” by my new pain clinic so I wanted to see what my neurosurgeon thought. His words, “Absolutely not, you do not have a failed back surgery.” I said, “Okie dokie!” Then we went over my three pages of symptoms and he felt it was neurological (brain) so I was referred to a neurologist. The whole process from neurosurgeon to neurologist to getting some answers, took me 5 months. I have what is called Cognitive Disorder NOS. It’s unknown at this point if it’s from being on opiates long term, from quitting cold turkey or a marker for Dementia, Parkinson’s Disease or Alzheimer’s. All three run heavily on both sides of my family.

I’ve learned that we are our own advocates every step of the way, sharing our stories is what helps one another, especially dealing with an industry in denial or suffering a lack of knowledge. The lack of information as to what really happens from long term opiate use or from abruptly (cold turkey) quitting the opiates and the effects they have on the body makes it difficult to get answers. I highly recommend joining support groups as you will gain lots of useful information by others going through exactly what you are dealing with. One of the positives of social media!  I also encourage you to share your story on your personal Facebook page. Being real opens many doors and gives others the courage to talk about these real issues many are facing. It was astounding the amount of support I received from my children, my family and my friends on social media. You will also find out very quickly those in your life (or on your page) who are not as open to real, brutally raw honesty. Don’t pay any attention for those people (you’ll know instantly what I mean.) That is why there is an amazing option called, “Unfriend/Unfollow” Use it!!!!

 

Q: In terms of your 13 years working in the medical field, what was your
specific profession/degree? How did that experience benefit your diagnosis
and treatment plan?

A: I worked as a patient care technician for 13yrs in Kidney Dialysis. Unfortunately algebra and chemistry in the greater realm (outside of daily usage) wasn’t a strong point for me and I didn’t finish school to obtain my RN licensure. I did however score 100% on my final exam in dialysis after being out for a year. The only person to ever get 100% on the test so I’m pretty proud of that and I had amazing skills in sticking the needles needed for dialysis and high critical thinking skills to run the patients treatments. Many times the RN’s were so new to dialysis they would seek my advice which was something I have been very proud of. Unfortunately I am unable to return to this type of work due to many health issues I’m currently facing and healing from. Having the critical thinking skills to see a problem and find a solution, looking from every angle possible is what made this “come natural” for me in accessing my own health care.

 

Q: You mentioned that you had helped a few people through a similar process
by talking about your experience. What 3 main pieces of advice would you
offer someone about to go through an opioid taper or discontinuation?
A: First, educate yourself on how to do a proper slow taper as this is best on your body and may even lessen the long term effects or duration of effects. I would also strongly research suboxone and methadone. These were made for opiate withdrawals so there is nothing to stop the withdrawals from these. And with the health system (DEA,CDC,FDA,Politics, Pain Clinics and big pharma) controlling a billion+ dollar industry I wouldn’t count on them not cutting suboxone or methadone as well suddenly down the road. Needless to say I don’t trust them. I just knew the taper I had started was too fast (down 10mg/wk) I made it one week and it felt like an extremely slow excruciating death in all honesty. That is what made me quit cold turkey. I felt like everything awful that I was feeling would be gone once the opiates were out of my system and I’d start producing my own chemicals in no time. More than likely the trauma of quitting 195mg of opiates (Combination of percocet and morphine ER) abruptly is what is causing my continued issues. I’m not sure though as another thought by current doctors is that the opiates masked other symptoms. Time will tell.
Secondly, be prepared for pain. Just know the initial pain you feel is going to be multiplied for awhile (varies per person) and it’s not “real” pain, I use that loosely given it sure feels real no doubt, just know it will subside in time. Take lots of epsom salt baths! Also, know that things are going to be like a roller coaster for awhile, follow the PAWS timeline so you know what to expect. It was said at 6 months off opiates is when most people will relapse. This is because out of no where you get “sucker punched” with feeling awful which feels like a major set back when it hits you. This will pass and you will gradually start feeling better again. Compared to the acute withdrawal phase, ANYTHING is better, than reliving that time.
Thirdly, I can’t stress enough to be kind to yourself and to your body. Be patient with yourself and ask for help when needed. I can’t stress this enough. I have been unable to work, I’ve struggled severely financially, physically, mentally, emotionally and cognitively. I can barely do a load of laundry let alone deep clean my house. This is where I have to be patient and know I can only do so much in a day. I also strongly suggest going to YouTube and watching Ryan Donnelly, his videos are very informative either way, if you are an addict or a dependent.
Here is a link to Ryan Donnelly and his amazing and extremely educational videos.
Q: At various times in your blog, you describe the importance of mental
health therapy. Why do you think this is an important factor to chronic
pain management, and how did you go about seeking this therapy? In what
ways did it help specifically?
A: Mental health is so desperately needed for many factors I believe. During the acute withdrawals and for me, the months to follow, were very rocky emotionally. I couldn’t have done this without the support of my therapist. All of the other doctors wanted to throw me on an antidepressant. NOPE! I was dealing with my brain reprogramming years of emotions and memories and countless outside stressors. Guess what? That’s “normal” I didn’t need another medication shoved down my throat to cover yet another symptom. I wanted to find the cause and then find a solution. At one point I arrived to my therapists office and I looked at her, shook my head and said, “If I walked into a doctors office, I would diagnose myself with Bi-Polar!” No joke. I was so up and down hour to hour it was unbelievable. I knew, this was all part of healing by educating myself prior to stopping the opiates which was extremely helpful. What I have noticed is this, almost all addictions are a coping mechanism that for an addict they are using to numb deep rooted pain. This deep rooted emotional pain, for most, unknowingly occurred in their childhood. I was dealing with a 20 year on again and off again relationship with my ex husband that I was struggling severely with in addition to my researching my sons issues to get a diagnosis so we could get his therapy started. During this time I trusted my pain clinic and wasn’t following my care as I should have. Which lead to way too many medication increases in a short amount of time. I was trying to maneuver in uncharted territory and I was an emotional wreck, that is when I sought therapy for myself.
A year later, I was absolutely terrified that I wouldn’t wake up after yet another dosage increase by my pain clinic. This fear I shared with my therapist and realizing the opiates had gotten to the point where they dictated everything. I was no longer in control, the opiates and pain clinic were, due to increases and building a tolerance. In addition, I couldn’t imagine my son who is seven years old, who happens to have Autism, finding me unresponsive or worse yet..dead.
I am my son’s only primary care giver 24/7 and I am also his biggest advocate. Just the thought of me not being here for him absolutely terrified me. I will tell you this, mental health therapy one hour a week, EVERY week is necessary through this process. To fully understand the big picture with this false opiate crisis put upon us and to understand the difference between Addiction vs. Dependency. And to navigate these uncharted waters as a lot changes once your brain goes through the “reprogramming” or healing phase.
I believe there is a time and there is a place for opiates. I would use them ONLY as an “as needed basis” (as in 2-4 pain pills taken in total for a month) and only, ONLY after being off them for at least one year. I think 12 pain pills for 3 months isn’t asking a lot. Yet it is and isn’t being acknowledged by medical professionals. I can tell you that I have faced many nights/days in terrible pain due to other issues going on, yet it is impossible due to the strict opiate cuts and doctors not prescribing narcotics any longer. Which will ultimately lead people to the streets, exactly what the big wigs are all claiming to target and claiming to want to stop.
Now I’ve left out a lot of information though I touched on the most important areas as there just isn’t enough space in a Q&A to cover everything in detail. I am grateful for the opportunity to share my story in the hopes this will be helpful to medical professionals, dependent chronic pain patients and for those with addictions.
Lisa Lucking
Lucrative Lives Opiates 2018

 

 

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Narcissist And The Last Match…

I’m done crying and I am done trying. I am done listening to the narcissist’s constant spew of ever flowing lies. It’s making more and more sense.. The lies, the twisting and the debilitating way he preys on my kindness and understanding with no remorse, guilt or admission. He moves on to his next victim as he entertains and dances his grandiose version only he thinks of himself and which he tries to portray to his children and closest enablers. The selfishness in hurting your own children in this manor should be an act punishable by law. It clearly is child endangerment, mental harm and setting them up for a life of disillusion, confusion and trauma and ultimately recovery or a life of hell.

Yet nothing will be done. They will fall through the cracks of our intensely messed up society and continue a life long trail of harm. Because there is ALWAYS another victim to replace you. Always.

Ultimately a breech of contract within our own ten commandments surly punishable for an after life in hell with their father, Lucifer.

How does one wrap their head around this calculated and masterminded torture that starts from the very moment you fall for their false persona? How does one make sense of this? Educate yourself, take a look at yourself and if you see you are always hurting in your relationship with occasional bouts of happiness with someone. If you keep changing to make things work yet it’s never enough and there is always a higher bar, always just out of reach and never acknowledged. If you are a positive and optimistic person who is pulled down constantly by their negativity. If  you find yourself believing in their potential more than they do, yet that doesn’t come to light until they no longer can suck anymore  life out of you or when they see you’re catching on and standing up for yourself. Then, you are no longer any good to them and they will leave you. Then you look back and you see it’s been years in the making. You wonder how in the hell all of this happened?

It happens because you are a kind, loving, emotional, giving and positive human being with a soul. That’s why they seek you out. If you lived in a toxic environment growing up infused with alcoholism, mental and physical abuse you are a target. Don’t second guess yourself. Ever. You are the target. It will change your life more than you could ever even possibly visualize or fathom. Until the day the relationship ends and you see how quickly they move on to the next victim as though you are absolutely nothing to them.

They get you to go through a phase where you are trying to explain how you know what’s happening, you bargain to work with a counselor because you dove in so deep educating, trying to find a reason for the constant chaos, then you realize it was their plan all along. They sense your coming to terms and they start to retreat. They surround themselves in the company of their enablers and reclaim their pedestal. Abandoning you. If you’ve been set up over a long period of time you may be so invested, financially it will take everything in your power to be released from their grip. You can and you will. You are fighting for your life now.

Life shattering.

This is the only way I can explain this new found information. How it all comes together to  make perfect sense in it’s true timing. Do not and I repeat DO NOT think poorly of yourself for falling into this awful trap. It’s extremely deceiving and you really are being preyed on for your gift of empathy, your caring, honest and loving personality. DO NOT change this about yourself! Be single until you have dealt with the damage, processed and moved forward from it. You need to make sure you don’t fall for this again! I see all of the red flags looking backwards now.. I see all of the “hooks” he used to keep me constantly hoping for a partnership and family life. It would never happen this I have now learned.

I will not allow myself to be in this type of relationship ever  again. That means my eyes are wide open, my lessons have been learned and I will conquer my past blind mistakes. I am using my pain to push me forward.  I am finally standing up for myself. I was traumatized throughout my childhood and into my adult years by my own blood. I trusted in them to not hurt me. I learned from a very young age and by their teachings on what love is..

THIS IS NOT LOVE!!!!! THIS IS NOT LOVE!!!! THIS IS NOT LOVE!!!!! THIS IS NOT LOVE!!!

This is what you do. You pick yourself back up, you dust yourself off and straighten that crown! You distance yourself as much as possible from them. Mark my words, if you don’t, they will pull you back in and play off your emotions, trust, heartbreak and pain. They are testing their boundaries with you. They will lie to you, they will guilt you and they make you feel like they want the same out of the relationship. When in fact they don’t want anywhere near the same as you. They are so emotionally dead inside they are not able or capable to love. They are so weak and damaged and they will never ever do anything to change it! They are content moving from one victim to the next and never having to face their demons. They will never see their wrongdoings nor will they ever fully admit to them. I fell for the partial smoke screen admittance, don’t do it! They will eat you alive if you let them.

Physically, I can feel the burning flames and see the clouds of smoke, smoldering around me that I am left and abandoned in and struggling to breathe. Holding onto my children for dear life, giving them any ounce of oxygen I have left to give. He casually walks away, as if to have thrown the final match, never once turning back for even a glimpse. A glimpse would mean he has feelings, emotion or empathy. He is dead inside. He has not an ounce of emotion for others let alone for himself. It’s “His way or the highway.” He walks away from the burning flames and into the arms of the new embers he has so delicately and meticulously cared for in preparation to throwing that final match.

He goes on, never looking back and never having any regrets…for now.

 

Remember this…

Actions truly speak louder than words. And this goes for ourselves and others.

Everything we think we have stuffed or buried within ourselves or ran from will catch up to us…one day it will ALL catch up!

 

 

 

Rough Moments..

Notice how I didn’t say, “rough days?” That is because I realize how we need to feel these moments whether it is a moment of joy, happiness, sadness,despair or accomplishment. We need to acknowledge these moments yet not let anyone of them control our entire day. Earlier I went way to far into my sadness, to the point of forgetting the reality of the reason for the break up. With it raining all day long I could have easily slipped into a full  day filled with tears falling as quickly as the rain fell from the sky .

I didn’t though.

I instantly dove into reading and researching Co-dependency and Narcissistic relationships. I quickly was able to relate and remind myself why I am on this journey. I also was able to see how to heal from Co-dependency and become healthy. How not to pass this onto my children. Because I can tell you this is not what I would ever want for my children to have to figure out in their adult years. Thank goodness there are only literally a couple things I have said or done that would plant the seed into my children. Which I am fully aware of now and I will make sure I do not say or do certain things to them. The blessing is that somewhere deep inside, I have known how not to treat my children, by how I grew up. It was the subtle things I didn’t realize until now.  I still carry deeply embedded issues within me and those are the things I am changing and working on.

I had posted earlier on how I spent so much time figuring out my ex husband that I never took the time and energy to dig into myself and my childhood. Every Co-dependent wants to “fix” everyone else and so easily can see everyone else’s problems yet it is literally impossible to take care of yourself when you’ve put so much energy into everyone else’s  happiness. I am very happy to say I have no interest in wanting another relationship for quite some time because it’s going to take some time to make sure I’m taking care of myself. Repairing the damage done by the adults in my childhood.

Fuck that pisses me off!

To see right now how God damn damaging they were to me.

I was an innocent child.

It pisses me off to realize this now, when I have three children I have brought into this world, prior to realizing all of this. My biggest fear is their fathers impact on them. Especially since Narcissistic people will never change. Never ever will they change, and do not forget that. How can they change what they never see?  The damage done to children by parents is unbelievable. And it’s heart wrenching to know it’s passed down usually generation after generation. Co-dependent people have a chance at least in my opinion.  Narcissistic people don’t stand a chance in changing.

So make sure you really evaluate how your parents or caregivers raised you. How they talked to you and treated you. If you had an alcoholic or any trauma in the family during your beginning years make sure before you get into a relationship that you are aware of behaviors you are carrying before having children if possible. You won’t fuck them up and you’ll be such a better parent! Not to mention having a wonderful relationship and a healthy spouse/partner!

I seriously think this is a root cause of what is happening in our world. The amount of hatred, disrespect, selfishness and increase in divorce and a decrease in healthy committed relationships. The list could go on forever of negatives. How’s that for irony? It’s like a trickle down effect that just keeps getting worse. I bet there is an overabundance of Narcissistic personalities walking among each of us in this world.

Think about it…

How are all these crimes like killings, bullying, shootings, robberies, rapes, kidnappings increasing at alarming rates? A coincidence in negative behavior and Narcissistic personalities, I don’t think so.  I had originally believed that is was due to parents not teaching their children respect, honesty, loyalty or appreciation. Now I’m not so sure if these are the only causes.

I would  bet that behind every person committing these crimes, there is a 99.9% chance,  of the person being a Narcissist with secondary or multiple disorders and/or addictions.

Mental health needs far more attention than this world is even considering.

I am terrified for my children, due to the fact that their father, has with out a doubt passed on some severe traits. Hopefully  my awareness, along with their own wisdom, they will not inherit these behaviors. I have one child who I know with out a doubt is going to struggle as he is the child of an alcoholic and now I see the other behaviors/addictions he is subjected to by his father. I’ve seen with my own two eyes the lack of showing love to his boys verbally, I’ve witnessed the constant negativity that is projected onto the children by him and I would always come in to “save the day” with positivity and pointing out how my one son is always so negative. The first words out of his mouth to anything is negative and I remind him of this because it’s worrisome to see this behavior. I could feel it just by being around the two of them for an extended period of time. To the point I would have to leave as it drained me mentally and physically.

Yet I was always made the fool for pointing out these things…

I know that I stand a chance in supporting my children by offering what I have learned and by continuing to educate myself so I respond in a healthy manor to these situations with them.

The best I can do is show them through my actions and give them some “food for thought” in hopes that they are open to learning about the Co-dependent vs. Narcissistic relationships.

Their future depends on it along with their children’s futures…

Best saying I’ve learned yet,

“When you point a finger at someone, remember there are three pointing back at you.”

Start with yourself always. It took me far to long to understand why my life has always been such a struggle. When all I’ve ever wanted was a happy life, a happy and  healthy family and a happy home. What I have always wanted most, was always sabotaged, and now I understand why.

The journey continues…