Citation: Chief. "Pain Management Gone Awry: An Experience with Buprenorphine & Naloxone (Suboxone) (exp106204)". Erowid.org. Feb 13, 2016. erowid.org/exp/106204
I was once an opiate aficionado. I started on heroin, then moved to hydrocodone, percocet, dilaudid, and oxymorphone. I toyed with methadone and fentanyl a few times and was not impressed. Never OD'd once in my life, though I did wrench my guts out on oxymorphone a few times. I pretty much considered myself a seasoned opiate user. Never heavy, but I knew my way around them.
I got off the narcotics after realizing that opiates and chronic recurring migraines and cluster headaches I get seemed to have some sort of correlation (even though the headaches began well before my adventures with opiates, the rebound headaches became all the worse).
18 months later, I'm confronted with another cycle of migraines that is completely unbearable. I break down and take a couple small doses of morphine from my father to make it through my day, upon his offering. It just didn't seem right accepting medication from my dad, and I felt pretty guilty about it. I made a few calls. A friend of mine offered me suboxone, 8mg sublingual strips. He warned me how strong it was, so I cut it down into 1mg squares. I figured 'Oh, well I'm just going to take a really tiny dose and gauge it from there.' You know, trying to be responsible and manage pain. Not get messed up.
I took 5mg over about 72 hours before deciding that the stuff just wasn't for me. I had to keep a regular dosing schedule or it would put me into withdrawals. 'Odd' I thought. 'I thought naloxone would only force a withdrawal if I had opiates in my system. Morphine leaves the body in 4 days tops and it's been over a week since I took any.' The withdrawals weren't terrible. Some constipation and a few chills and sweats. Definite body ache and muscle soreness from hell. I weathered through it. Nobody at work or home even noticed. I was still 'good old son', 'dear old daddy', and 'you're my hero hubby' to everyone. I was a little bit cranky a few times, but I'm kind of a gruff blue collar country boy so no one thought anything of it.
Then day 3 off the suboxone hit. I was hit with a migraine. But it was different. Not that pulsing, throbbing pain in one side... not the burning stabbing pain of a cluster headache. My entire head felt like it had a massive balloon being inflated in it. I took aspirin and suffered through it, reflecting on what an idiot I had been to think that I could self treat my condition without a doctor (considering I naturally distrust them for many reasons anyway....) I was kindly driven home by my manager, who saw me collapse a couple times at work grabbing at my head. She knows I get migraines from time to time and understood. I went to a hospital and received Reglan and Toradol. The pain subsided slightly, and I decided I was okay enough to go home (though I was having trouble moving my head and looking around.) At this point I was afraid of picking up old habits (as they die hard) so I refused narcotics and just acted tough. Went home, took a bunch of aspirin and melatonin and slept through the rest of it.
Day 4 was the worst. I have few memories of what happened, but what I am about to recount is bits and pieces of what I remember, laced with what my stepmother filled in from what she saw and what she gathered from the medical staff...
I woke up about 9am groaning and squirming in bed. I remember texting my stepmother to bring me an ice pack. She kindly brought one in, and I attempted to use it for about 20 minutes. I remember giving up after a while, as the pain was mostly inside my head and I couldn't really do much with the ice pack except kill the throbbing in my eyes. I remember getting to the point of wailing and screaming and begging for help. I could barely open my eyes, I couldn't think or formulate words, but I somehow managed to text 'hospital' to my stepmother. I'm a big, built guy and my parents are not very big people, but they somehow got me into her car and I remember blacking out from the pain. I also remember opening my eyes a tiny bit a few times and asking where I was. She would tell me what street but none of it made sense. I'm guessing it would have been about 10 or 11am at this point. I vaguely remember the intake process at the hospital. The assholes at this particular facility insisted in putting me in the one room (out of 16 available ones) that was having construction done in the hallway outside. I remember screaming some more and passing out or blacking out intermittently from the pain. I also remember at some point begging for someone to kill me.
I'll spare the details of how terrible the rest of the stay in the hospital was (as me and my stepmother were treated piss-poorly...) but it ended up with me getting a pretty hefty dose of Stadol (butorphenol) and phenergan. I was given butalbital/caffeine/APAP to take home, which has worked fairly well and I'm DEFINITELY feeling about 90% 24 hours later.
But let me tell you kiddies....
This shit is NOT to be trifled with. You wanna kick and get off dope? Get it under the supervision of a doctor. Don't f*ck with it. I have been shot, stabbed, burned, electrocuted, beat up by an MMA fighter (my brother), broken numerous bones, sprained every joint and ligament in my lower body, been subjected to all kinds of head trauma and back injuries, torn my rotator cuff, dislocated my shoulder, had chronic migraines, and even CLUSTER HEADACHES (which are supposedly medically the most painful thing one could ever experience.) NONE of that has ever amounted to the kind of pain in my skull that suboxone put me through. EVER.
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