Author Topic: Heart Surgery @age 27, MRSA leading to amputation, medication&recovery? (long!)  (Read 4322 times)

Offline miracleshappen (OP)

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Hello new friends. My name is Dana, I'm a recovering addict - heroin was my DOC but according to all the professionals I'm a poly substance addict, addicted to alcohol and crystal meth in my teens, and always a marijuana connoisseur. Sorry, this is a loooong post, but I want to share my experience as I never believed drugs, even IV heroin, could have this type of consequences.

I'm in recovery now, not entirely by choice. Just before Christmas I was living in New Orleans, Louisiana, dating a gorgeous 22 yr old meth dealer, living on the streets of downtown, alternated with some couch-surfing and occasionally staying at the hotel my boyfriend and I paid for weekly. I was on the street by choice, carefree and reckless, proud of myself for being able to drink in moderation for the first time in my life (never mind the heroin habit, which I was also proud of maintaining at $40-50 a day, in comparison to some acquaintances who used $200+ daily) I was dirty, miserable, and desperate, but I couldn't see it.
 
A fair amount of characters were in similar situations; we formed cliques and occasionally forged real friendships. In a matter of months, these street people became my family, despite their greedy, scheming, backstabbing nature. They kept me from getting arrested and kept me from freezing to death the night I was tripping on acid, clothing me in boots an a winter jacket as a cold front pushed through - I was in sandals and a sundress, and remember lying on the pavement, blocks away from anyone who knew me, when one of the bums I drank with stumbled upon me and led me back to Jackson Square, where a group of these folks occupies the benches around the park at night, wrapped in blankets and sleeping bags, oblivious to the fact their home has no roof, no walls. At 5 am the street sweepers come, spraying down the entire Square; for the homeless, every morning begins with the scramble to make way for the workers who keep the French Quarter clean... By 8 am every one who slept in the area is awake, as a police officer patrols during the daytime, keeping the area open and presentable for tourists to wander through the spectacle of artist's booths, living statues, vendors, tarot card readers, other varieties of fortune tellers, and various street performers who occupy Jackson Square from early morning to sundown.

The world I lived in was beautiful in so many ways- so beautiful the melancholy was difficult to see. I spent a lot of time drinking with the traveling kids on the neutral ground of Esplanade Ave, drinking to forget the irony that five years prior I was married on that grassy median, under the tree where a community of dirty twentysomethings now sell pot and occasionally other drugs. Five years ago, homelessness was not accepted in New Orleans by anyone other than those who had resigned themselves to an alcoholic death decades before. Five years ago, the people on the streets and lined up for soup kitchens or beds at the rescue missions were old, forgotten war veterans with little hope, or cocaine-addicted alcoholic women who dressed shamelessly for their profession of prostitution and were often forced to sleep under bridges, because the alcohol coursing through their blood gave them the idea that they weren't obligated to follow all the rules of the shelter. Five years ago, the homeless stayed hidden, feeling somewhat shamed, unless it was prime time to sit at an intersection, holding a cardboard sign they hoped would create sympathy in the form of donated dollar bills (with the occasional $5- or even $20-kick). Five years ago, I had no understanding of how life really was for people on the street with nothing. When I returned to New Orleans last fall, I learned about hopelessness, about the never ending struggle to survive, about true desperation. I learned how good the marrow in chicken bones tastes when you've been hungry for days. I learned that I am no better than anyone on this planet. In recovery now I accept the converse. I am no better... And I am no worse... Than anybody to walk this earth. Sometimes pride overcomes me, and my mind brags that I never stole to support my habits... But that doesn't make me better. I prostituted myself to get what I thought I needed, for many years. Sin is sin is sin. Only through constantly working the Steps and working with other recovering addicts will I find healing, and forgiveness, and hope. Only with time will my brain, wired for addiction, come to see my time in active addiction as a nightmare; only time will show me new experiences and introduce me to a new family in the Fellowship, so that I quit glamourizing any part of my using career.

As I said, I didn't enter recovery this time entirely by choice. A medical crisis shaped my fate and sent me from New Orleans, city of sin and fast living, to the peace, the expansive sky and the languorous way of life I have found in Montana. I spent thirteen of my first eighteen years living in Montana, so of course in teenage rebellion, I left to chase life in the big city. I'm almost twenty-eight now, and it's so refreshing to be back among the mountains and the people who savor a small-town lifestyle. I'm still in the hospital, but I believe it will be a good environment for recovery.

Today marks one month clean & sober (31 days)... 29 of which have been spent in a hospital. In early December, I got a few spots of what looked like a staph infection. I didn't go to a hospital, because I thought they might admit me, and that would interfere with my schedule of shooting heroin every twelve hours. I ignored the infection; in fact, I couldn't score dope one day, and the infected spots were hurting and my whole body was weak from the infection and from lack of food- I remember clearly feeling defeated and saying aloud, "I hope this shit kills me," before curling up in a friend's sleeping bag to face the start of withdrawals. Eventually I got my fix that night. I continued my pattern of making life bearable every twelve hours or so, continued to poison myself as the infection made my body weaker and weaker. The last week, the week of Christmas, was just madness. I was broke and therefore sick, coming off heroin, and life was leading me on some random adventures. I'm sure in a year I will see the purpose, but today it seems like my last week on the streets was absolute chaos. The day after Christmas, feeling alone and without a purpose, I began having difficulty walking. My big toe on my right foot felt like it was on fire. I spent a day and a half lying around Louis Armstrong Park, where a friend brought me what was to be my last fix. I was in too much pain, and too weak, to carry my purse or my bag of toiletries and clothing - these I left under a bench in Jackson Square, carrying only a notebook, my kit and a bottle of water. Thinking only of heroin (the notebook was essential only for the phone numbers inside). Living only for the next high. Hoping the next rush would make sense of the mess my life had become; hoping the next shot would either save/change my life... or take my life. I wouldn't say I was suicidal as much as I felt completely defeated, without worth, without hope, without a future. I laid in the park, getting sicker and weaker, trying to think my way out of my impossible situation. Then the rain came, a violent downpour that rained through my layers of blanket, and with it, a cutting, cold wind. I took the only exit I could conceive, and called an ambulance.

It was 8:30 on a Monday morning, and the paramedics arrived within 15 minutes. I felt a sense of security the moment I climbed onto the stretcher. One EMS worker drove me to Tulane's emergency room, while her partner swiftly took my vitals, charting them while asking me questions and attaching those sticky pads to connect me to the heart monitor. When we arrived in the ER, the male who rode with me in the back called the female driver over to show her something irregular with my heart waves, or intervals, I'm not exactly sure. Whatever he saw caught the attention of the attending physician, and within two hours I had been admitted to Tulane University's teaching hospital. I had a sense that something serious had triggered my rapid admission, but no clue how serious the situation would turn out to be. The date was Monday, December 28. On Tuesday my aortic valve ruptured and I went into heart failure.

When I was admitted, all I remember being told is that my heart was beating irregularly, so the doctor wanted to monitor me. After the doctor learned more on Tuesday, an entire team was called in to handle my case, and I learned I would need open heart surgery to survive. The damage to my heart was, in fact, from an infection in my bloodstream - an infection that I still don't see being connected to shooting heroin. However, every doctor I've spoke n with is convinced that my IV drug use is the direct cause of the damage done to my heart. The doctors told me I would need surgery as soon as possible, but they had to make an impact on the infection in my bloodstream first. Every day they drew blood, waiting for cultures grown off the blood to test negative for staphylococcus bacteria. During this time, I asked the team to contact my mom in Montana, who is an ICU nurse (and a very smart woman). When I finally spoke to her, she offered to fly down to New Orleans for my surgery. With one phone call, I felt two years with little communication on my part had been forgiven.

Like most addicts, I am stubborn, and cannot accept that my addiction might have serious consequences. So I asked my mom if shooting dope was really the cause of this crisis. Without hesitation, she said yes, absolutely, and told me she sees similar cases often in the ICU. As I lay in that hospital room, on the 2nd day of January 2016, I said a silent prayer for my life and my health, and whispered goodbye to my best friend, heroin.

I learned after my surgery was complete how close I truly came to dying. Two of my heart valves had been damaged. My blood pressure ran dangerously low: 100/39; the diastolic pressure was so low because without the valves working properly, blood was flowing freely between the heart chambers, back and forth, rather than flowing forward. Heard through a stethoscope, my heart was saying "whoosh...whoosh" instead of "thump-THUMP-thump-THUMP".

In surgery, they replaced my aortic valve with a valve made of pig tissue (as using a mechanical valve required me to stay on blood thinners for life, and the consequences of going broke and NOT taking medication would be serious, even fatal). They also scraped a pocket of infection out of the root of my aorta, and repaired my tricuspid valve with some stitches. The surgery was a success, although I now have a mild heart murmur.

Nobody talks about how unpleasant it is to be intubated, or how thirsty you are afterward. Unless you've experienced it, I can't describe to you how helpless I felt, waking up from surgery only to discover the anesthesia was still in charge and I couldn't move AT ALL. I had a brief flash of how it must feel for patients who are completely paralyzed and yet completely aware. I knew my experience was temporary but it was terrifying, especially as I kept coughing up phlegm. I had to use my tongue to push the spit around the tube down my throat. My chin, face, and pillow became saturated with thick saliva, and I had no way to communicate with the nurses, who seemed oblivious to my distress; I felt like I was suffocating - still paralyzed - I spent a good two hours panicking and unable to move or otherwise remedy the conviction I held that I was minutes away from suffocating to death. Eventually the anesthesia wore off and some kind soul thought to remove my breathing tube. I spent the rest of the night greedily sucking on ice chips, since apparently anesthesia leaves a lot of people nauseous, and puking would have been extremely painful since that afternoon surgeons had cut open my chest. I've never been so thirsty in my life, and I resented both my mom and my nurse, who limited me to one cup of ice an hour. After three cups of ice, and three long hours, I finally was granted permission to drink a cup of water. I can't describe how delicious a silly cup of water was. Gratitude can work miracles.

One day at a time, I regained my strength, and began to cope with the pain. Because of my history with opiates, the doctors kept changing the medications available to me for pain. The only thing that really touched my pain was Dilaudid - and four days after surgery, my team decided to discontinue it in preparation for the plane ride to Montana. That's right, while I was healing, and struggling, and bitching, my mom was convincing my team to discharge me from Tulane, and making phone calls to find me placement at Benefis, the hospital in Great Falls, Montana. My surgery was January 5. On January 12, my mom got her wish; we were up at 4 am, leaving Tulane behind and headed for Louis Armstrong Airport, ready for a plane to deliver us to the city I left behind more than a decade ago.Let's fast forward, past an uneventful plane trip, past being reunited with friends, past the first few days in my new hospital room. I've settled in, and most my nurses are friends or coworkers of my mom, who visits me frequently. Every day the pain in my chest subsides a little. A purple blood blister on my right big toe pops. Within days, the toenail falls off, and a podiatrist is called in. This is when I learn that not only will my toenail never grow back, but also that my bone is being eaten by that persistent infection. The podiatrist suggests removing the solitary bone affected - a partial amputation of my toe. I cried when I learned I would never regrow my toenail - a silly, vain mourning. When I hear the podiatrist's suggestion, somehow I do not cry. I agree quickly, and two days later, on January 20, I undergo the second surgery of my life.

Upon close examination, it's more like 2/3 of a toe rather than half a toe. I'm pleased with the results, although curious how my stitches will look when fully healed. I've been transferred to a different part of the hospital to heal and will stay here until I'm finished with a six-week course of antibiotics. Tentatively looking at a discharge date of February 16. Before then, I hope to start attending outside meetings (no H&I here) and attending recovery groups on the Behavioral Health unit. At some point, I will be completely done with pain medication and plan to try the Vivitrol shot after the required ten days without using.

I love heroin. It solved all my problems. It balanced all my psych issues. Heroin was my answer on good days and on the days I hated life. Heroin was my security blanket. I'm incorporating Vivitrol into my recovery because I've spent sixteen years in active addiction and have a shitty track record fighting my cravings. And if I use again, even a little bit, even just once, I am risking my life unnecessarily. If I touch heroin, I'm playing Russian roulette with multiple bullets. I'm skeptical as Suboxone maintenance never helped me deal with cravings. In spite of all the people in my life who disapprove of methadone maintenance, a methadone program would be my first choice in addressing my addiction, but the closest methadone clinic is almost three hours away, and it's SO important to my mom that I live in town, especially because my 9 year old son lives here with her. He has a lot of emotional & anger issues, but he's working with a good counselor here, and also, as of recently, sees a child psychiatrist to treat his ADHD. He's lived with my mom since right before he turned 3.

Is anyone still reading or am I crazy telling that whole story here?? I turn 28 in April, I have a six page list of goals for the year, including learning to bow hunt, go fishing with my son for the first time, reestablishing relationship with my daughter, and getting into paramedic school. I'm gonna hate living back in a smaller city and will be chronicling a lot of my experiences in recovery to keep myself busy/out of trouble.

I hope to make some friends in this forum, whether in recovery or actively using, I'm not one to judge. I also hope to learn from everyone things that will help me in recovery, I'm getting clean in a small community, I want y'all to share your experiences to expand my mind. Please feel free to message me, whether with compliments, constructive criticism, or random questions. I look forward to getting to know y'all

Offline dizzle

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If I were you I'd think LONG and HARD about the vivitrol shot.

that's NO FUCKING JOKE. I mean, I get you have to stay clean for 10 days first and you shouldn't be put into precipitated withdrawls, but I mean, once you get it, it's there for 90 days. I've heard of people feeling horrible on it and end up attempting self-surgery to remove it.


If I were you, before taking the shot, I'd get my doc to prescribe me naltrexone, the active ingredient in the shot, pills and I'd take those for like a week at about the same dose the implant would be releasing, this way you'll know how you feel on it and see if you respond poorly.



Also, for what it's worth, I tried to "keep myself away from heroin" I tried the whole, "I don't trust myself yet", done the "new places and playthings", "I love heroin but I know I can't use it".... I don't want to put you down, but I'll tell you that most of those are simply stopgaps, they're temporary reprieves, and if you're not done, you're not done. When all those safeguards are no longer in place, when all the people you love fully trust you again, when you're alone with just your love of heroin and you have an opportunity, you'll probably use it again, and then again.

If you're actually tired of it, if you're actually sick of it, you wouldn't be saying stuff like "heroin is the love of my life" and shit like that, that is an illusion, and you'll see that one day, I promise.

Offline nick

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That is quite some story! Welcome and much luck with it all.

Offline Chip

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indeed, it is quite a story.

dizzle's advice is well worth considering.

you now have another chance to get it right.

welcome to our forum and I hope you find extra support here - you don't have to go back to the lifestyle that caused you all this grief.

may you stay strong !
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Offline Illadelph215

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Glad you found the site and that was quite the read. Quite the life as well. I'm very interested in your input and hope to hear more about your experiences. I have had heart surgury as well and it was quite traumatic as I was very young. I hate to compare you but your story kinda* reminded me of the movie 'Heaven Knows What' but New Orlean's addition. I hope for the best with you and I can already tell you are a strong ass woman, even if you never kick H. Seems like your in a position here, had some shit luck and time to think. I hope you achieve all of your goals, but in the meantime please do take a seat here, stay and share. You stumbled upon a cool group of knowledgeable people who don't judge. You yourself are unique and so is your situation. Keep your head up and hope to hear from you.
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Offline Tony

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To the OP,

Sounds like you got a huge second chance at life. You are young and getting strong. You can make it.

Please consider Dizzles advice. He is a wise one and this is a big deal... I also have heard of folks that self removed the implant.
Seems like trying the oral med for a couple weeks would make a lot of sense.

I know you Love your Mom and owe her bigtime. That being said. You are an adult so please keep your own council. Just saying. Please
don't develop anger by totally deferring to what she says because you made some mistakes.

Welcome to the site and good luck on being the best person you can be. A smart one you are. A good writer as well!


Peace,

Tony 2016     

Offline Zoops

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Welcome, Dana. Wow! What a fucking story, girl! If anyone has good reasons to quit doing drugs, it's YOU for sure!

I responded to your post in that other thread, too. I am interested in discussing the program with you if you so choose to. I attend AA, but just to enable me to not drink. I have many problems, health, social, financial, mental et cetera, when I start drinking alcohol, but as long as I leave it alone, I'm good - or at least have a chance at being in good shape if I'm not drinking.

AA has helped me to stop drinking  - BUT- I still use poppy seed tea. I don't tell the people I know in the program about that. Only the folks on here and my mother know about that, and mom's husband (I don't call him my "Stepdad" because he was not around when I was a little kid - they got married when I was 21 and in college, so I just call him "mom's husband" or "Bud," his name).

Despite the poppy use, I am actively working steps with a sponsor - did a fifth step with him recently, and have made my eighth step list now.

I view the poppy seed tea as a maintenance medication. It's great the level of functioning I can achieve while on it. I can show up for work, put in 9 or 10 hours lifting boxes and crates, shelving items, and at the end of the day, although I'll be pretty wiped out and sore, I still feel great. I am much more social on it too. I don't want to sound like an advertisement for poppies, but I need to justify it somehow. It's a definite ethical/honesty-type conundrum for me right now.

I have a question, and I'm pretty surprised nobody else has thrown it out there yet:

Why are you, who professes to be devoted to sobriety and recovery, hanging around an internet forum whose membership is pretty much 100% active addicts and current drug users? Don't you think it's a slippery place? Won't it poison your point of view, and take the focus off sobriety? I mean much of the discussion on here is along the lines of "Oh man I copped some bomb-ass DOPE tonight, went home, slammed a couple bags and damn if wasn't nodding my ass off, for like 16 HOURS GOD DAYUMM! Me and all my cartoon friends was all singin' songs and eatin' cookies... and Mickey Mouse was doin' the bassline - like BA BA BOOOMMM BA BA BOOOMMM..."

I don't understand why you would want to hang around here unless you had a reservation to use at some future time, and you want to keep the seat warm, so to speak, if you decide to "bail" on the whole sobriety thing.
« Last Edit: January 29, 2016, 12:13:40 AM by Zoops »
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Offline miracleshappen (OP)

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Officially my excuse is that I stopped in to do some research on vivitrol. You guys are probably absolutely right and I will have to do some serious soul searching. In 2012 I was absolutely 110% committed to sobriety. Poster child for recovery. I've gone thru a lot since then and in my heart I know I may never embrace a 12 step program or complete abstinence ever again. I've lost too much, I'm too far removed from happiness.

Thanks for the honest and direct advice. I had surgery last week so still taking post op pain meds and I'm trying to put a plan together before they d/c the meds and I call the rehab unit here in hospital for a medical detox. The Dr in charge of detox suggested vivitrol... She also got me off my boring hospital floor to attend behavioral health IOP groups, which is cool. No inpatient for me, been there done that 5 times. I'm trying to find success doing it in a real world setting!

And as I said in another post, personally, I'll be satisfied with making progress - recovery is , to me, about becoming a better human being. Less selfish, less demanding of others, more empathy and gratitude. Addressing unhealthy relationship patterns. Forming and defending some core values.

That shit matters more than if I take a couple times of marijuana in eight months. I'm trying abstinence but the other stuff matters more to me.

Am going to ask about oral naltrexone. Also, does anyone have experience abstaining from opiates and using supplements to fight PAWS and cravings? Looking at supplements that boost dopamine levels, and of course taking vitamins to combat the times I was malnourished.

I love you guys. You can't offend me. Remember my brain is Swiss cheese. What else am I failing to consider??

Offline dizzle

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@miracleshappen

I'd like to reiterate the importance of the oral testing period. I'm not saying people attempted self surgery with the implant because they wanted to get high, they did it because the naltrexone made them feel like absolute hell. You have to remember something when getting on medication like that:


- Most people, let's call them "normies" for this explanation, have a natural amount of endorphins flowing through their body, particularly when they experience pain, or when something of great value/importance happens, that's that feeling of euphoria you get when you feel giddy, or get really good news. They are produced by the central nervous system and the pituitary gland, they're actual name is ENDogenous opioid neuropeptides. I'm mentioning these because the drug that you're about to commit yourself to will block those feelings, the natural opioids (along with heroin and EXogenous opioids) will also be totally blocked by the naltrexone. This means you will not feel any of those feelings, natural or not. This is a big deal, especially to people like us, that have been using EXogenous opioids, because there's usually a reason they started taking those EXogenous opioids in the first place.

- You know how when you get sober, it takes a week or so to go through acute withdrawls, the vomiting, shitting, sleeplessness, extreme anxiety, etc. But then after that is all over, and the second stage of "getting back to normal" goes on, well, that's your body regulating those chemicals again, because for the longest time, it didn't have to make those, as you supplying it through heroin. What you're essentially going ot be doing is putting yourself in an extreme version of PAWS on account of the naltrexone blocking all your ENDogenous opioids.


- PLEASE HEED MY ADVICE, if I were you, I'd think really hard about why you're getting on the naltrexone, and what will happen when you get off the naltrexone if it is the only thing between you and using. If you decide to go through with it, PLEASE PLEASE PLEASE take the oral naltrexone for a few weeks at minimum before you get the implant. There's NO harm in doing it that way. Do NOT let your doctor or your mother tell you that "you're not committed unless you get the implant right away."----- that's bullshit. Here's an exceprt from a study I found:

Quote from: Study link=http://www.nhmrc.gov.au/_files_nhmrc/file/publications/synopses/ps0005_naltrexone_implant_treatment_literature_review.pdf
Four included comparative studies (Waal 2006, Hulse 2005a, Ngo 2008b, Tait 2008a)
examined adverse effects potentially related to naltrexone treatment (level III-2 to IV
evidence). Waal (2006) reported adverse effects including diarrhoea, muscle pain, irritability
and anxiety in all participants, though they were considered to be few and mild with the
exception of one participant who had received four previous implants.


For the record all the participants in these studies were detoxed before getting on the implant...

I'm just saying it's not something to be taken lightly, it's also not something that "won't have any adverse effects", IT WILL, the extremity of those side effects cannot be predicted until you try it orally first.




and no, your brain is not swiss cheese, at least not from the heroin. Maybe the meth didn't help it, but Heroin, in it's pure form, is very NON-damaging to the body. They can talk that shit all they want, but I've seen the brain scans before and after heroin use, and the effects are minimal, if any at all, there's a reason opioids are prescribed all the time in medicine.
« Last Edit: January 29, 2016, 03:24:52 PM by dizzle »

Offline Junkette

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man, dizzle's dropping some serious knowledge in this thread.


and I just want to add...you've been going through a lot, (understatement) you're probably not thinking clearly by which I mean...whenever someone is in a state of crisis you aren't really "yourself".

As far as what you should do and what you will do, well who fucking knows...but I would like to say that you might want to give stability a try, i.e maintenance. A lot of people do great on suboxone and I'm sure you can even get it in the sticks. As far as I see it, suboxone is vivitrol lite. But back to the main point here...it sounds like you need to have some stability for awhile.

Being freshly sober after how ever long a time is not going to be stability.

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Hi Dana, great read and surprisingly amazing for a first post.  Dizzle is definitely saying some important things to consider.  Remember also that the doctors giving you advice don't really have experience with what they are pushing.  A lot of it is informed by studies and drug reps pushing their treatment.  You have to be willing to dig through and find the treatment that works best for you.  Don't be afraid to say no, or to ask for more information.


I'm so glad and proud of you for coming through it okay.  The swiss cheese/damaged brain feeling will go away with time.  Your body is still swiming in drugs, and the changes it made to itself due to the drug use.  You have to give your body some time to heal the changes and come back to a normal state.  People always talk about the acute withdrawl/detox period being the hardest, but in many ways the battle only really starts afterwards when you are on your own.  Make sure you reach out to the community around you to create a strong support network, and don't be afraid to reach out to it.  You are definitely at the most fragile part of your treatment from my experience.


Anyways, enough negative stuff.  Look forward to the future, and remind yourself of all the posives in your life.  You'll get through this fine.  Any setbacks will be temporary, and you can maek of your life what you want to make of it.  Be careful with romanticizing the past, or idealising the future.  Just hang in the now, and focus on everything getting better the way you personally want it to.


I think you found the right place.  The people here are very accepting, and most of us have years and decades of experience with drug addiction and recovery.  We're glad to have you along for the ride!  If you need any help with anything don't be shy to ask.

Offline clinton

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Thank you for sharing ..Good luck with what you're planning to do ..the hard part begins when you leave the safe hospital setting for the real world be it Montana or London
In the vein...

Offline miracleshappen (OP)

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Dizzle,..I've done some research and wrote a letter to my doctor... I understand completely what you're saying about losing the ability to have those endorphins working BC vivitrol blocks those receptors. One of my biggest fears is that I will never be happy clean . Methadone worked for me because it hit those endorphin receptors (my second DAY of MMT at only 35mg I remember turning up the stereo and dancing with my toddler singing out loud. I felt so good -normal-and proud of myself...)

I asked my doctor to set the appt a month out from the day I quit the fentanyl patch. (No hope of fentanyl maintenance, My chronic pain is mental) I told her that I wanted to try sobriety with just my psych meds, and possibly a dopamine/serotonin supplement, an other herbal supplements. Cause thats my problem : feeling numb and sad and bored. I can't see vivitrol helping !me, really, I like my endorphins.

Anyone familar w or experienced with supplements that boost dopamine n serotonin. There's quite a few diff formulations, all similar.

And where do I find poppy seed tea online? I think I'll try PST maintenance if the monkey on my back says sobriety is not for me. I drink hot tea all day anyway.


Recovery related I have started to use a cognitive behavioral therapy app to journal so my therapist and psychiatrist can understand better my various "disorders". The crazy seems less irrational writing it down.

Offline _Enduser

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Yeah from reading your post I can say don't worry, for me at least, giving up dope (or restricting myself to 1-2x a month HONESTLY) has been a long, yo-yo process, where the peaks and troughs over time have been getting shallower and less deep.
There never was a single, definitive moment where I woke up one day and said "okay, I'm completely done with dope" and managed to  stick to that.  Instead, I just try my best everyday, and not try to beat myself up when I have a lapse in judgement, or when I just feel like visiting the Badlands.  Since going to inpatient like a year and a half ago I've slowly worked myself to where I am now, which is happy with not shooting dope even when I have the time and a perfect opportunity,  as in my mind there are a lot more things I would do with a fat pocket of cash and time than just go cop and shoot speedballs all day.  I'm applying to professional schools, overall balanced, happy, no more track marks (I used to have some of the nastiest tracks on my arms as I'm pale-ish and scar nastily), on fantastic terms with my soulmate; these gains would all come crashing down if I was made to cease PST use immediately.  BTW Bupe did NOTHING for my cravings; check out the PST thread.

What also helped a lot was getting shot, while trying to cop dope.  Actually, it just really helped me to NEVER fuck around with Bmore again.  Funny how almost dying doesn't have the effect most people think it would?  What really helped me stop using dope was seeing my relationships get better.  Now that is a gain I never want to trade; so yeah okay maybe like Dizzle says when I'm alone and have the opportunity I buy 3 stamps of dope and have fun for a few hours, maybe once a month, but I could never cop again every day because I str8 up don't find this process enjoyable anymore.  I derive much more happiness from my relationships to a few people that have gotten so much better than I ever did from dope it's not a question which I like more.  Junk is just junk, that's it.  There isn't really any other dimension to drugs, so I would be really weary of being in love with something so one dimensional as heroin.   After all I've been through I resent myself heavily now when I go cop, and cause of my tolerance I never get FLOORED anymore, so I literally just never want to use more than a few times for one day or two days a month.  And I'm happy with that.  Maintenance with PST has most likely allowed me to do this.  Undoubtedly.  I think since you stumbled on here for vivitrol, you should also look into PST!  It's a lot like, as I think Chipper once called it "Hippie Methadone".

Anyways, good to be alive huh?  Surgery + dissociatives and losing control scare the shit out of me, you are very brave



« Last Edit: February 01, 2016, 03:20:40 PM by _Enduser »
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Offline crackers

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If you're actually tired of it, if you're actually sick of it, you wouldn't be saying stuff like "heroin is the love of my life" and shit like that, that is an illusion, and you'll see that one day, I promise.

I'll keep this brief as I don't want to hijack OP's thread. I want to let you know that your statement above resonates with me tremendously. What's the love of one life? You nailed it, for me. One sentence...an inner question.  Thank you. Very, very much.

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