Community Magazine


By Rubytuesday
I've had quite a distressing week
I saw my doctor last week and he said he might reduce my methadone this week
So on Tuesday he brought the subject up again
I really didn't want to reduce it but I didn't know what to say and I had no reason not to reduce it
I often find that happens me when I go in to the doctor's surgery
I know what I want to say but when I get in there my mind goes blank and I forget everything I want to say
So he reduced my methadone by 5mls
It might not sound like a lot but any change is a big change
I started off on 70mls 9 years ago and over the years have worked my down and am now on 25mls
I came out of the doctors slightly bewildered
And angry with myself for not speaking up
But there's another reason why I don't want it reduced
As you know sometimes I mess around with my meds and take more than I'm supposed to
Being on 25mls leaves me no room at all to mess around
My doctor said that I am very stable and have been for a long time but that couldn't be further from the truth
I'm not one bit stable
Yes, I'm not taking heroin but that's about it
I abuse my methadone and other meds
They are my opt out of reality option
If I am having a bad day all I do is take some more meds and float away in to oblivion
I am not stable at all
My health is not great and my frame of mind is quite fragile
I slipped in to a depression on Tuesday
I was supposed to see Mary but I cancelled
I was just so annoyed at myself for not speaking up and telling him that I didn't feel ready to reduce
Also I have a huge fear that I will use if the methadone detox is not done properly
And I seriously do not want to go back there
I may have another round of addiction in me but I definitely do not have another recovery in me
I just don't

Mary gave me another appointment for Wednesday
I really didn't want to go but I made myself
I had no sooner sat down in the chair before I started to cry
I cried my heart out
Big, fat, salty tears
Mary asked me questions but all I could do was sob
In the end she just sat there silently beside me, handing me tissues
About 15 minutes later I managed to get control of myself and told her about the methadone
She asked me if my doctor had explained to me why he had reduced it
I said no
She explained that more than likely the methadone was to blame for my getting pancreatitis and also my impacted bowel
That my doctor probably thought it was safer to come off it
But even knowing all this, I still don't want to reduce it yet
Mary said that I really need a lot of support right now so she offered to see me 3 times a week and is also arranging for me to see an addiction counsellor
Bless her, she is doing everything she can to help me
I know it would really help me to go to a meeting but I can't seem to muster up the courage to go
I left Mary feeling slightly better
She told me to go and see my doctor of my mood didn't improve
She also suggested that I present at the mental health service if things got worse

So this leaves me in a dilemma
Do I tell my doctor that I've been misusing my methadone and hope that he puts me back on my original dose
Or do I suck it up and try to manage on the reduced dose
I guess this day was always going to come
I'm going to have to come off methadone at some stage
And there's never really a right time
It's always going to be really tough
But I just don't feel in a good enough place to do it right now
I don't feel strong enough
I have a huge fear of relapsing
The thought strikes fear in to my heart
I would much rather he reduced the olanzapine
I've been on methadone for almost 10 years
Really a person is not supposed to be kept on it for this long
Really it's supposed to be a stepping stone between the drug and sobriety
And now I am completely addicted to it
Physically and psychologically
They say that methadone is harder to come off than heroin
They say that  it gets in to your bones
I suppose I am afraid that my body has become so used to it that it won't be able to function without it
And now after 10 years I am starting to experience negative side effects
Pancreatitis and impacted bowel are pretty serious
But even knowing that I have these conditions is not enough to convince me to come off it
I am just so very afraid that I will end up using
I would rather die than go back to that life
Sometimes I think back to that time and I can't work out if it was a nightmare or if it really happened
I feel like I am being forced in to this and I am just not ready
I guess I need to be honest with my doctor
I hate to let him down though
If I tell him the truth I will probably have to go back to being supervised but that's a small price to pay
Detox from drugs like heroin and methadone is not pretty
With methadone you probably won't start to detox until a couple of days after you take your last dose
As the last of the drug leaves your system, you will start to experience flu like symptoms
You will start to yawn a lot
Your eyes and nose will start to stream
Then you will get a dull ache in your arms and legs
You try to get comfortable but you can't
You alternate between feeling hot and cold
You feel clammy and constantly sweat
Now you really are feeling it
You feel as weak as kitten
You try to sleep you just can't
It's mental torture
All you can do is toss and turn and pray for this to be all over
Then the vomiting starts
You retch until all that comes up is stomach acid
Then you get diarrhoea
It feels like it will never end
Like your body is trying to turn inside out
This could last from 2 days to a week
So you see why I am trying to avoid this
I need your help here
If you were me what would you do?
Do you think I should tell my doctor the truth?
Or do you have any other suggestion?
Any advice is greatly appreciated

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