Manage your opioid withdrawal with stuff from Target

targetsideshot2When my pain pump went down on a Friday night in January I had no warning. I was sent plummeting into a nasty withdrawal from the three medications and I would not have access to my doctors until Monday. There is some irony in the fact that I had just started marathoning Nurse Jackie, no? I was left to whatever I could get my on hands on OTC to manage the incredible body crawls, digestive distress, chills, sweats and other debilitating symptoms. I know it is getting more and more difficult to manage our pain medications. For anyone who might find themselves in a similar situation, here is what I found that actually helped:

  • the cart at Target. If you saw the security footage of me hanging on that thing for dear life, you really would have wondered what I was coming off of. It makes me wonder how long I was standing in the aisles just staring at the epsom salts.
  • epsom salts: in the hottest bath I could put my feet into. My seem like a weak answer to crawls that make you scream in frustration, but it really does help. I took 4 or 5 baths a day with at least 2 cups of salts in each bath.
  • ibuprofen: simple and helps with the slamming headache and swelling pain.
  • Benadryl: helps calm the crawls, nausea and can induce sleep, something very had to manage when your in full withdrawal mode.
  • Imodium: or your chosen anti-diarrhea medication, enough said.
  • Aspercreme with Lidocaine: my third level of defense against the crawls, worked much better than I expected.
  • Melatonin Plus L-Theanine: these natural supplements help calm the nervous system, calming the crawls and anxiety and allowing for sleep. I found that I preferred this to Benadryl.
  • Magic Mocktail: You become dehydrated very quickly and nothing tastes good. I found that mixing 1/2 juice (I liked orange-mange or cranberry) with 1/2 tonic water and ice in a cup with a straw was the only thing I could get in for a few days. The tonic water helps calm the restless leg and it saved me from ER hydration.
  • See your Doctor: This blog is not medical advice. Your doctor may have other ways to ease your symptoms and to help you manage your withdrawal process. It can be dangerous if you are not managing it reasonably.
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