Friday, June 5, 2015

Third day of withdrawal: struggling to breathe

Oh My Gd.
I had no idea this was going to be so insane. Nobody could have guessed.

From that one little 6mmg patch of Fentanyl... hardly visible on my arm... a little piece of tape...
removed from my arm, and my body is in total shock. I really feels like I went cold-turkey from a large dose. I should have, if this is what I had to look forward to, anyway. I even left that half patch on for two more days than I normally would have; I usually change patches every two days. The last one I left on for four days, so it would taper off. Exactly three hours after i took it off, I was hit with "brain zaps" (feels like electric synapses firing at random) and pain. OK, I expected that. I'd get that every time I went down a dose.

But the pain got worse and worse, the brain zaps were hell.
Over the next few days I was functional. Not on a high level. but functional.

Last night (which was Thursday- I took off the patch on Tuesday) was AWFUL. It was Robert's birthday, and I had high hopes to spoil him and have a little party. I even bought him a new bottle of 14 year old whiskey, and a chocolate cake. But, no party was to be had. I was a Mess. So much pain, migraine coming on strong. Also incredible weakness has been a feature of this whole weaning process. Even going up stairs winds me. My heart beats fast all the time and I feel it is labor to breathe. So instead of spoiling him and going out for dinner, I dumped the kids on him and went to bed to wallow in my misery. We did manage to have a happy birthday song with sparklers on the cake, and had cake. Can't leave a good chocolate cake un-birthday-song'd! At least that.

The migraine was strong and fierce last night. I slept with a cold pack on one eye, because it was actually an eyegraine- all behind one eye. It is often that way for me. I slept fitfully, but since I was so over-exhausted and wrung out, I slept, medicated. I woke at 3am, still with the headache, but less strong. I took another medicine to sleep. I slept heavily from that point on until 3:30pm today (Friday). I woke up today so weak I could hardly breathe and walk at the same time!

This is so crazy. The whole time, my brain is giving me strong messages that all I need is that small piece of celo-tape (clear tape) with Fentanyl on it, and things will be fine again. It is so crazy! I never thought that it would be this way. Such intense and weakening withdrawal.

It actually feels like when I was just recovering from NF. I had many doses of morphine in the hospital, and was sent home without it. I completely remember this feeling of being so weak that it is hard to breathe. Morphine depresses the respiratory system, and I guess withdrawal from it does the same thing somehow. I don't understand, but I relate to this feeling as how it was then.

I will get over this. It will pass. My body WILL find it's equilibrium.
But until then. ...whoa. I can't walk and breathe at the same time. Just walking across the room makes me winded. I can barely talk, it makes me so weak.

But I can write. And write I am. :)

Shabbat Shalom.
May you all enjoy the strength you have... never take it for granted. And for those who need more strength, may Hashem give you exactly what you need exactly when you need it.


  1. keep strong , emotionally and physiclly. we are davening for you! rochel.

  2. I'm so sorry you have to go through this, Sarah. I hope the symptoms go away soon.

  3. Oh my dear sweet Sarah. I am so sorry this is happening to you. I love you and I believe in you.

    1. Thank you thank you so much for those loving, soothing words. It means so much to me.

      This will pass. It was a hard Shabbat, but easy in a way because all i could do was stay home. I read a good book. :) Thought of you.

      Love you, too.

  4. Oh dear! I hope Shabbos was a little better. Somehow, with Hashem's help, you just have to hang in there.
    Sending you so much love,

    1. Hi Miriam,
      Well, Shabbat wasn't easy, but in a way it was. I couldn't do anything. Not cook, clean, prepare, even be around the main part of the house. I stayed in my "nest" in my room. I just couldn't handle regular noise, and with the breathing feeling difficult, I wasn't in good shape. I didn't go anywhere Shabbat day. We were invited out, but the family went without me. Motz'ei Shabbat I cleaned up the kitchen, so that was good, but then I was spent again. That breathing thing makes me feel like an anvil is on my chest. I look forward to that finishing. It's awful.
      I also am having stronger hip/thigh joint's all coming around for a visit. I pray it won't stay too long.

      Thanks for your support! I'm trying my best to keep up with all the regimens. B'eH.

      love, Sarah

  5. Amazing that you can write. So please continue and wishes for strength and even breathing!

  6. I want to hug you and share the pain so you need not feel alone in this.

    Willing to do some guided imagery? Imagine that you can see all the electrical impulses in your body: Electricity in your blood, muscles, bones, nerves, brain, spine, eyes, hair, nails, every bit of you. LOOK at all that electricity, give it a color if you wish, a sound, smell and flavor, and give it a command.

    Order every electrical impulse in your body to be grounded. Place one foot under each shoulder, and stand firmly upon your feet. Press harder on the ground. Issue the command again: "All electrical impulses will enter the ground."

    Allow the electricity to flow from your body into the ground. Spend as much time as you wish letting it enter the earth. HKBH will direct your body to maintain homeostasis. You will not suffer setbacks for having directed your electrical impulses to be grounded. You will only experience the sensation of decreasing pain.

    Electrical flow in your body will not be more peaceful, increasingly peaceful. Speak to the electricity in your body. Assure it of the peacefulness at present and the peacefulness to come.

    Imagine the long, loving stroke of relief in every cell of your being. Let it flow.

  7. Electrical flow in your body will NOW be more peaceful, increasingly peaceful. Speak to the electricity in your body. Assure it of the peacefulness at present and the peacefulness to come.

  8. I am hoping, praying, today is already better. And that it will continue to get better. Keep being brave. You are in uncharted territory and land is just beyond the horizon. Love from Russia. Miss you so much.

  9. Sorry to hear you are going through such torture every time you remove one "little" patch. Pray you have a better week to come. Shavua tov.