The Suboxone Withdrawal Diaries, Part 2

“Late last night and the night before, Tommyknockers, Tommyknockers, knocking at the door. I want to go out, don’t know if I can, ‘cause I’m so afraid of the Tommyknocker (dealers) man.”

— The Tommyknockers, by Stephen King; a book, that helped me get through this.

 

August 21

This is day 8 of my Suboxone withdrawal. I can’t believe it! I had New York heroin dreams last night. I never dream of that, at least since I was on Suboxone. So the Suboxone was helping, but at this point in my life I feel that the benefit wasn’t worth the cost of the side effects on my body. I’m feeling a little better today, very emotional, but I’m glad that I’m doing this.

August 22

I actually went out today. Drove to Harvard Square, then parked about five blocks from where I wanted to go. I walked to the comic store and came back with a heavy pack. They gave me three hardcover graphic novels for free! Whoo Whoo!

Then I went to Target and bought an old pack of Stephen King movies; then bought a small pizza and went home and ate half of it. I know I feel better now; but I’m tired and have some aches. All in all, I’m getting off lucky today.

August 24

I rode my bicycle into Harvard Square and stopped at Spare Change News to pick up a review copy of a book that came for me. I felt exhausted as I rode back home but I stopped at the supermarket because they have one of those blood pressure machines and pulse cuffs. I took my blood pressure and pulse twice. The first time it was 130 over 75 with a rocking pulse of 112. I took it again and it was 130 over 74 with a pulse of 106. Whew. I went home and ate a small lunch and now I’m going to read and relax.

August 25

Day 11 of my Suboxone withdrawal. I’m really knocked out and I ache all over. This is the longest detox of my life; longer than when I was at a methadone clinic.

I went food shopping today. I was in agony much of the time and when we got home I had to carry the groceries two flights of stairs. I’m glad that’s over. I just have to drive to the bank; no bicycle today; and I’m even putting driving off. I must say that if you have to take Suboxone, don’t stay on it too long. It helped me stay off heroin for 10 years.

I was just reading the Boston Globe and they said there is little real heroin anymore; just Fentanyl. They’re cutting the cocaine on the streets with Fentanyl. Talk about danger! I’m glad I’m not out there now. It could happen, I know. Soon I’ll be starting support groups again. Just too sick right now.

August 26

And I am still behind the eight ball. I bicycled yesterday and the day before but I can’t imagine doing it today. I feel so worn out.

August 27

Am I over the hump? I was able to make sandwiches, do the laundry and hang it, and eat breakfast. I can still feel the withdrawal but it isn’t as bad today. Relief! The next three days will be hot and humid and maybe that will help me sweat the poisons of the Suboxone out of my system. I usually don’t have underarm odor but I sure do now.

August 28

Day 13. Rough nights sleep. Saw Casino on Netflix and thoughts of it kept running through my mind as I lay in bed. I had 5 hours of sleep at the most. Having some trouble purging my bowels still. It is now 6:30 a.m. and I’m not looking forward to the heat wave that will begin today, Monday, and last through Wednesday. I’m so tired of this bad feeling ; I understand why people relapse on Suboxone detoxification. But I’m holding the course. I know I’ll be normal (whatever that means) again.

Severe constipation is a side-effect of Suboxone. My bowels haven’t moved for 4 days.

August 29

Still sick but not as sick as the earlier days. Having trouble motivating myself to do things. I put breakfast out for my wife, Mary Esther, and myself. We ate and then I did the dishes. No purge yet today but I’m still sneezing two or three times in a row. Much better than before. I’ve been up to nine sneezes in a row. It’s very hot already even though it’s morning. That doesn’t help matters but it’s better than being too cold.

August 30

Went to the movies to get out of the heat. Saw A.X.L., a great young adult flick about a killer robot dog developed by the military. Slept poorly.

Walked half a mile in Harvard Square to pick up a few comics. I didn’t bicycle in this 95 degree heat. After all, I’m 72. Just learning to take care of myself.

August 31

Day 16, early afternoon. We turned the air-conditioning off last night because my wife hates the sound of it. I actually had a full night’s sleep; only woke up twice. A miracle. I think I’m recovering more slowly because of this abominable heat. I literally trudge up the stairs and I haven’t dared to bicycle because I feel exhausted, drained. But I feel better than I have in days and my bowels are moving.

My psychopharmacologist just sent me the confirmation notice for my next visit. I imagine he’ll be surprised when I tell him I don’t need any more Suboxone. He’s a cool cat though, and my wife and I bet he won’t show his surprise. I’ll still have to give a urine sample and that will be the proof. I don’t know if he’ll keep me on the same schedule or not; I see him every 28 days when I get the Suboxone from him but my other psych meds are refillable every 3 months. Suboxone is not a refillable item.

September 1

I actually got up at 4:15 a.m. and went to my old home group which meets at 6 a.m. every day of the week. They all welcomed me back and were happy to see Mary Esther too. It’s a closed meeting but we both qualify. Then I went food shopping with my wife and after that I bicycled into Harvard Square, about 4 miles each way, and picked up the new issue of Spare Change News. I’m knocked out now but I feel good about today and it was great to get to my home group.

September 2

Day 18. I’m going to continue to write about this, but this will be the last entry in Spare Change News. I slept last night; woke up a few times and by 5:30 a.m. I knew that further sleep was futile even though I didn’t go to sleep until close to 11 p.m. I’m planning on going to the support group tomorrow, Sunday, at 6 a.m. I still have some aches and pains but the emotional withdrawal is primary now. Thanks for reading this in Spare Change News and I hope it has helped someone struggling with opiate addiction.

Marc D. Goldfinger is a member of the board of directors of the Homeless Empowerment Project, which publishes Spare Change news. Formerly homeless, he serves as the paper's poetry editor.

Related posts

Top