Citation: Krisis. "Can't Function Without It: An Experience with Tramadol (exp92074)". Erowid.org. Nov 10, 2022. erowid.org/exp/92074
I was never rebellious as a teenager, was terrified of authority figures, and to this day I have no idea how to get drugs without actually being prescribed them. The only place I could think of to check was eBay. yeah, I know. This also isn't your average experience report.
In 2009 my husband and I learned that having another child would kill me. After much thought and prayer, we decided to have my tubes tied. The surgery happened in August 2009. In October, I started having severe cramping in my lower abdomen - much like menstrual cramps. My OBGYN prescribed me Tramadol as needed, saying it was less powerful than Percocet but more powerful than Ibuprofen.
If I took 300-400 mg of Tramadol at once, I could almost get an oxycodone-like high. But not quite. And every time, I wouldn't be able to sleep that night and would get a killer migraine after about 12 hours. Not worth it.
The pain did go away with the medication - but after 2 weeks I realized that not only was I no longer in pain, but I could also function like a normal person! I have had severe social anxiety my entire life, and was working with my general practitioner to find the right anti-depressant (we tried Lexapro, Prozac, and finally settled on Zoloft.) My GP was really glad we'd found something to help with the anxiety, so he said that as long as it worked, I was to stay on the Tramadol.
My GP was really glad we'd found something to help with the anxiety, so he said that as long as it worked, I was to stay on the Tramadol.
For the next year, I was happy to take 100 mg of Tramadol every morning. I was able to take my son places, I could go grocery shopping without breaking down in aisle 12 or having a panic attack over which brands to buy. I made friends in my neighborhood and everyone thought I was so funny and outgoing - if I brought up the social anxiety it shocked them. If I was going to a social situation I felt uncomfortable about, I'd take an extra 100 mg of Tramadol and I would make it through perfectly.
Then my therapist got me concerned that I was an addict. I quit taking Tramadol in December of 2010 right after getting a concussion, but then when I complained of headaches to my GP he told me to go the heck back on the Tramadol. So I did.
But I was still worried about being an addict. Every morning I took 100 mg Zoloft, 100 mg Tramadol, and 12.5 mg HZTZ (a blood pressure medication). I was also starting to have pain despite taking the Tramadol, and my menstrual cycles were getting worse. My OBGYN gave me two options - a sort of exploratory surgery where they would see what was causing the pain, or a hysterectomy.
Guess what - bleeding every month, especially when you know you can no longer have children - is a pain in the royal ass! So I opted for the hysterectomy. I weaned myself off Tramadol slowly the week before the surgery, which happened in May 2011.
After I had recovered, I was excited to be 'drug free' ish. But then about a week after being off pain medication from the surgery, I started having panic attacks. I couldn't function anymore - the energy required to get up in the morning and get my son dressed was more than I could handle. I went back to my GP, but unfortunately he has left medicine (noooo!!!) and so I saw his partner instead, who I still like, but she's more homeopathic than I like. She said that it was likely the Zoloft had stopped working, so she switched me to Effexor, saying it would work on the nor-epinephrine part of my brain like Tramadol does. That was two weeks ago.
Never have I felt so awful. Panic attacks daily, despite Klonopin and Xanax to keep them at bay. I couldn't meet up with friends. About the only thing I could do was turn the TV on and keep my son alive until my husband got home to take care of both of us.
Finally, my husband called my GP's office and told them how awful it was. I had already told my GP how I was feeling like death and couldn't do anything, anything at all, and so I guess DH's 'testimony' backed it up enough that my GP put me back on 50 mg of Tramadol, as needed. I don't know how long this will last, maybe just until the discontinuation syndrome from the Zoloft and my adjustment to Effexor is complete. But here is what I do know:
After taking my first dose of Tramadol today, I cleaned my house. I played with my son. I called my mom without having a panic attack. I want to organize my life and I want to go hang out with friends. This is HUGE. I feel good. I feel like I can handle my life again. You know what? I don't think I'm really an addict, because I don't WANT to be on this medication. But if Tramadol is what I need to be able to live a real life, instead of one huddled on the couch, then I am okay with taking it every day for the rest of my life.
tl;dr: I've had severe social anxiety my entire life, and Tramadol allows me to be able to socialize, function like a 'real' person, and keep my kid and husband fed and happy. God bless Tramadol.
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