Hi All - I can't believe so much time has passed since I last popped on here. So many days I've missed being here for others, too. I'm sorry. Especially to Road and Nefret. You are both such awesome souls and I am so thankful for you. It's possible that nobody even checks this thread anymore, but I wanted to update it since this is all part of my "path to freedom," so to speak.
I am STILL on kratom. Yes. As Dreggs and Road and so many other have pointed out, we are still feeding our brains if we're on a substance (even a natural one). This includes things like advil, coffee and marijuana. The two latter of which I do enjoy a lot, too.
I haven't upped my dose of Kratom, but I've not really made serious efforts to taper lower. I've been fearing that loperamide withdrawal still lurks underneath, and I know K withdrawal isn't a walk in the park, either. That said, I've been on K for 4 months almost to the day. I took a TINY sip of liquid loperamide (Imodium) just one time about 3 weeks ago because I had a stomach issue that was seriously debilitating. The tiniest sip was enough to stop me up for 3 days! Horrible, horrible stuff. It was the only time I've even thought about it for so long, and I'm very very happy that I was able to get off of it.
As a recap, I started off on 100mcg of fentanyl patches with oxycodone and hydrocone mixed in everyday. When I panicked about the stories I'd heard about withdrawal from fentanyl, I read up and found all of the things I WANTED to hear about loperamide. I read all about how higher doses are necessary to really mask withdrawals, etc. etc... which was complete crap and I wish I'd looked ever deeper for info. Once I switched, which was a freaking piece of cake (that's how unbelievably STRONG loperamide is and how hard it can be on your body), I went up in dose in no time by not counting out my doses. I would feel a little tired, a little sore, a little ANYTHING, and I would take 20 more. Just like that. The cycle of addiction continues. I ratcheted up to 100 pills a day (I'm sure it was more at times, but I don't remember those days at all now) and felt like I was just fine. I was literally stupid from those pills... I actually believed that this weird pseudo-reality I was in was totally how normal people felt. I thought it was a life-saver. So I kept taking it.
Fast-forward to 5 months ago, and I started looking into getting off of it because my husband kept asking me why I was still taking it. Don't get me wrong... fentanyl and oxy and such are pretty horrible for WDs, but the WD wouldn't have lasted months and months and been worth months and months of loperamide. I was in over my head. With the AWESOME strength of people like Roaddoggy, Mad Margaret's Blog, and so many others on here, I began to see just how stuck I was. I couldn't see it at ALL in my loped-up view of the world and my place in it. It was a very sad time in my life, looking back.
I cut off loperamide altogether and jumped onto phenibut (which I had started 2 weeks before while I tapered lope a little bit) and small doses of hydrocodone (20mg /day). Phenibut, I will admit, seemed to help a lot in that time. I had no anxiety, music was beautiful, the world became awesome. I was on phenibut for a few weeks before I finally went to my Dr for help (I had a total panic-attack and meltdown when I missed a dose). The next week I have very little memory of. I was given clonazepam for the phenibut withdrawal, and I took it as directed. I was basically blacked-out for the next 7 days or so. Then, I finally started Kratom. I was about to leave on a family trip and I was coming out of my blacked-out state and felt great. I was calm and felt pretty well for the most part. Stopped taking the clonazepam when I started the K.
Here I am 4 months later. I've been taking anywhere from 14-22 capsules a day for most of the past 4 months, and am now down at 15 after bumping it up during that stomach issue I had. I feel dumb for setting myself back so far, but cutting back down hasn't been an issue yet. I'm following a great plan given to me by the wonderful RD, and I so appreciate his help and encouragement.
Holding at each decrease for 2-3 days before dropping by another 2 capsules.
I wrote all of the above for myself and for anyone stumbling into this who might not have seen Road's journal (which is massive and very clearly shares what cold turkey loperamide WD is like).
I felt the need to update because I dislike reading threads that end suddenly without resolution. I hope the next update will consist of me saying, "I'm FREE of it ALL!"