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Thread: Getting off of Pain Meds

  1. #1

    Getting off of Pain Meds

    So, as some know, I've been on various pain meds (opiates and muscle relaxers) for a little over a year now with my back issues. I've decided that I've had enough of these meds. I can't spend much time outside in the heat otherwise I get vertigo, plus cold sweats, and general weakness. Not to mention, I can't drink. One beer gets me sick and I am worse than hungover in an hour or so. Not to mention the side effects of memory loss and fatigue that does not go away.

    I've got an appointment with a pain management center to start the process of weaning off later this week but am interested to hear if any of yall have tips/tricks/hints to help me with the process.

    I am very much chemically addicted to them, thus working with the pain management center, but I am not emotionally, mentally, spiritually, etc. attached to them.

    The thing that makes me most nervous is the withdrawal factor my body is going to go through. I've never been through withdrawals of stronger meds like this so anything helps.

    Thanks.

  • #2
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    dibs

  • #3
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    Had a friend that was addicted to these for several years. He finally hit rock bottom to get off of them. He went to treatment a couple of times. Pain mismanagement clinics didn't help because he found a way to manipulate them. I'm not trying to make it seem impossible or detour you. I'm telling you that you have to be the strongest you've ever been mentally. I wish you good luck and will keep you in my prayers. If you need anything, PM me. I dealt with my friend on every level of his recovery.

  • #4
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    Good luck, doc.

  • #5
    Quote Originally Posted by OklahomaHorn60 View Post
    Had a friend that was addicted to these for several years. He finally hit rock bottom to get off of them. He went to treatment a couple of times. Pain mismanagement clinics didn't help because he found a way to manipulate them. I'm not trying to make it seem impossible or detour you. I'm telling you that you have to be the strongest you've ever been mentally. I wish you good luck and will keep you in my prayers. If you need anything, PM me. I dealt with my friend on every level of his recovery.
    I'm going to get off of them but I need the pain management center folks to help with processes. If I could go cold turkey I would but the chemical dependency scares me enough to get some help. Earlier this year, I was between insurances and had to go a couple of days without the medicine and I will say, it $#@!ing sucked.


    Quote Originally Posted by retread View Post
    Good luck, doc.
    Thanks.

  • #6
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    Quote Originally Posted by Doc Holliday View Post
    I'm going to get off of them but I need the pain management center folks to help with processes. If I could go cold turkey I would but the chemical dependency scares me enough to get some help. Earlier this year, I was between insurances and had to go a couple of days without the medicine and I will say, it $#@!ing sucked.




    Thanks.
    Go more than a couple of days without them. Quit cold-turkey. Yes, it will suck. But if it's strictly chemical, as you say, then rip the damned bandaid off, deal with a week of the shakes and $#@!ting liquid, and you win.

    Or, you know, you could talk to a professional. The only thing I've ever quit for any length of time was cussing, and that didn't $#@!ing take.

  • #7
    thanks obama jt Probably Shaggy Upper Class jt Probably Shaggy Upper Class jt Probably Shaggy Upper Class jt Probably Shaggy Upper Class jt Probably Shaggy Upper Class jt Probably Shaggy Upper Class jt Probably Shaggy Upper Class jt Probably Shaggy Upper Class jt Probably Shaggy Upper Class jt Probably Shaggy Upper Class jt Probably Shaggy Upper Class jt's Avatar
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    how has "pm derka" not been posted yet?

    good luck doc!

  • #8
    Quote Originally Posted by Brisketexan View Post
    Go more than a couple of days without them. Quit cold-turkey. Yes, it will suck. But if it's strictly chemical, as you say, then rip the damned bandaid off, deal with a week of the shakes and $#@!ting liquid, and you win.

    Or, you know, you could talk to a professional. The only thing I've ever quit for any length of time was cussing, and that didn't $#@!ing take.
    I may end up going this route after I talk to the Dr.'s. Mainly, because I want some type of medical professional available who knows what they are doing. Lord knows, I don't and these opiates don't mess around.
    Last edited by Doc Holliday; 05-14-2012 at 03:51 PM.

  • #9
    Quote Originally Posted by jt View Post
    how has "pm derka" not been posted yet?
    lol, no $#@!.

  • #10
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    Would be a good situation for medicinal marijuana, IMO. Good luck.

  • #11
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    clonidine to help with the withdrawals. i think that was the answer on my test about opioid dependence! haha

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    Rub some dirt on it, ya pussy.

  • #13
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    i have too Buddy, I'm with you. Totally. I had a serious injury in July 2010 and walking, sitting/laying down has taken on a whole new meaning. I did the physical therapy thing religiously for about a year. It helped, but the meds were a necessary complement. Let me start first by saying that I have tried various drugs recreationally, but thankfully have never been addicted to anything (until these that is) The side effects of Vicodin, flexiril, oxy el al. are awful. Vertigo, cold sweats, and just a lethargic existence but the pain is just soo unbearable you down these pills like mother's milk. Then, there are the spasms and attacks that appear almost at random which are agony and paralyze you in the lobby of a bank, in your car, at the barber or at Thanksgiving Dinner. It's awful. You cant eat, you can sleep, you're just exiled to a haze that must get increasingly murky when the pain slowly chases you as your pain tolerance decreases.

    When I decided to drop them this is the factor that made it so difficult. Bumping your knee is absolute water-streaming-out-of-your-eyes Hell.

    For me it took a combination of discipline, planning and white knuckle endurance. It really surprised me how much my body screamed for these drugs. Dropping them also made my residual back pain much worse (even more worse at times than the initial injury). The upside is that the my body responded and the pain decreased after the first few weeks at an exponential level. I made a plan to cut my intake by 1/2 every 2 weeks for 8 weeks until I was off. After that I had an allowance of 8 ExtraStrength Tylenol that I would cut by 1/4 every 2 weeks until I was off. I cut drinking also and stayed dry for about 3 months after I was off so I would not fall into a "compensation" habit. I had to take a no tolerance mind set and just forced myself off these things. It was really, really hard but worth it. You have to resign yourself to pain and once you can force yourself to believe that in 20 weeks you'll be thru everything it becomes a waiting/bargaining game.

    The thing that really helped along with my physical therapy exercises (boring as $#@!) is I went to the pool a whole lot and also did the whirlpool daily, sometimes twice. The weightlessness for about 2-3 hrs a day is what I really feel got me over the hump. I worked up to doing some light water aerobics and can say today I'm 95+% with no meds.

    Good luck partner.

  • #14
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    Quote Originally Posted by jt View Post
    how has "pm derka" not been posted yet?

    good luck doc!
    you bastard, you stole my line

  • #15
    I feel for you. I used to work with a guy that got injured and won a huge lawsuit. He and his fiance had access to unlimited pills and a 6-figure settlement. He told that, at one time, he was popping 50 hydros a day or something like that. Good luck and keep us posted.

  • #16
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    Doc - you made posts on the back issue before?

    Can't remember if i chimed in...

    i had similar issues with tramadol. (not that bad actually) just weened myself off and it was fine. then hit up a very good physical therapist and have all but eliminated my back issues. i tried for 20 years (injured in high school) and got no where. teh bad ass PT really has me feeling great. no meds required.

    also brisket says cold turkey. i weened, but my issue doesn't sound as intense or strong as yours. good luck.

  • #17
    oh dear god. i genuinely feel for you, bro. went through this about a year ago and it $#@!ing suuuuuucks. the withdrawals are the easy part, it's the depression that sets in about 8-10 days later that kicks you in the balls.

  • #18
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    Normally I'd say go cold turkey cause you're mentally strong enough. HOWEVER, given what you listed you were on, do not go cold turkey. And for anyone else looking to get off pain meds, DO NOT GO COLD TURKEY. Extremely, extremely dangerous.

  • #19
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    I can reccomend that you DO NOT use the Hemingway method.

  • #20
    Quote Originally Posted by MyQuick=FrenchToast View Post
    Normally I'd say go cold turkey cause you're mentally strong enough. HOWEVER, given what you listed you were on, do not go cold turkey. And for anyone else looking to get off pain meds, DO NOT GO COLD TURKEY. Extremely, extremely dangerous.
    you sure you're not thinking of benzos or alcohol wd's?

  • #21
    Doc, good call getting a doctor's advice and having them help you wean off. The depression issue is huge--they can help you with that too. Don't ignore it.

    What are you planning to do about pain control after coming off?

  • #22
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    My MIL has significant back issues. She deals with it with morphine three times a day, and vodka. FWIW.

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  • #24
    you may be interested in trying acupuncture, both for the withdrawal symptoms and for the pain management after you're off.

  • #25
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    What are you on and what doses are you taking? It will be the hardest thing you have ever done, but also rewarding once the dependency is gone. I applaud you for taking the right steps and seeking professional help. Cold turkey isn't an option. My best friend tried that route almost four years ago and thing went very very bad. Get the help you need and listen to the pros! Good luck doc.

  • #26
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    You are gonna have to ween yourself off them. Definitely the best way. If you can smoke, try doing that.

    Also second dibs.

    Good luck.

  • #27
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    we call it "kicking" for a reason. expect the worst leg twitches of your life...

    been through this multiple times...fortunately for the last time 16 months, 13 days ago. pm me if you have specific questions.

  • #28
    I don't have anything to offer in terms of the medication side of things, but I am curious how you hurt your back. I've had a couple MINOR back issues over the past year, and they sucked. I can't imagine a situation where they'd be bad enough to warrant medication.

  • #29
    I appreciate the input from everyone. Especially the insights about the sensitivity to pain, depression, aches, and even leg twitching. I used to have a very high tolerance i.e. hyperextended my knee and turned my ankles numerous times and kept playing basketball. Hell, I played softball with nerve pain shooting down my leg the whole last season I played with the Beros. (The nerve pain is long gone thanks to physical therapy.) I'm ready to get back to my regular self without the lethargy and it's time to make that happen.

    I started processing through everything as I am getting mentally and emotionally prepared for this endeavor and I realized that the only thing I will have issues from is the butrans patch. I don't really take hydros too often and the flexiril I've been off of for about 4-5 days. The patch is still 10/mcg every hour 24/7 so there will be some withdrawals but I'm definitely ready. My Dr. appt is for this Friday and hopefully I can be off within 4-6 weeks.

    Oh and where the back issue came from is a variety of things. One, extremely tall people put more strain on their backs, a bowling team building event (which I bowled a 220), flying in regional jets and cramming into little seats, ridiculously tight hamstrings and psoaz muscles with a generally weak core to support the spine. All of this led to a severely herniated L4 disc and thoracic/lumbar muscle contractions that will not release. The herniation is dealt with and the muscle's never releasing is what I've been dealing with for the past 6 months or so and why I've still been on the meds.

    I will be looking into myofacial release/massage therapy for the muscles and acupuncture is not out of the realm of possibilities.

  • #30
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    Quote Originally Posted by Doc Holliday View Post
    Oh and where the back issue came from is a variety of things. . . flying in regional jets and cramming into little seats
    flying sucks for us regular sized folks but i just can't imagine what you go through on an MD-80 or airbus. there's no way i can see how you deal with a regional jet that had to be brutal.

    good luck with this endeavor. it won't be easy but you've laid out the goal for yourself and I know you will accomplish it. like others suggested, get some professional help to know what you will be dealing with ahead of time. sounds like you are on the correct path.

  • #31
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    Oh and where the back issue came from is a variety of things. One, extremely tall people put more strain on their backs, a bowling team building event (which I bowled a 220), flying in regional jets and cramming into little seats, ridiculously tight hamstrings and psoaz muscles with a generally weak core to support the spine. All of this led to a severely herniated L4 disc and thoracic/lumbar muscle contractions that will not release. The herniation is dealt with and the muscle's never releasing is what I've been dealing with for the past 6 months or so and why I've still been on the meds.
    That sure was a lot of words to say "I'm a pussy." I'm just sayin' . . . .

  • #32
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    Where are you? If you're in Dallas, one of my best friends is one of the top spinal surgeons/docs in town. He uses a terrific pain management guy that I know a little bit. If you're in Austin or elsewhere, I can ask my buddy for a rec in your area.

  • #33
    Anyone else find it ironic the two guys with chemical dependency issues are both "Doc's?"

  • #34
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  • #35
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    To the OP, look up Suboxone. Best wishes.

  • #36
    Shaggy Goon MissingInAction might be a clever chap. or know the right people. know what i mean, nudge nudge? MissingInAction might be a clever chap. or know the right people. know what i mean, nudge nudge? MissingInAction might be a clever chap. or know the right people. know what i mean, nudge nudge? MissingInAction might be a clever chap. or know the right people. know what i mean, nudge nudge? MissingInAction might be a clever chap. or know the right people. know what i mean, nudge nudge? MissingInAction might be a clever chap. or know the right people. know what i mean, nudge nudge? MissingInAction might be a clever chap. or know the right people. know what i mean, nudge nudge? MissingInAction might be a clever chap. or know the right people. know what i mean, nudge nudge? MissingInAction might be a clever chap. or know the right people. know what i mean, nudge nudge? MissingInAction might be a clever chap. or know the right people. know what i mean, nudge nudge? MissingInAction might be a clever chap. or know the right people. know what i mean, nudge nudge? MissingInAction's Avatar
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    Cold turkey is dangerous and it's got nothing to do with your mental toughness. Get some pro advice buddy. Perhaps look into holistic options as well if insurance will cover it. Good luck buddy and let me know if there is anything I can do to help, IE: dogs, checking on the Mrs , etc.

  • #37
    Quote Originally Posted by Brisketexan View Post
    That sure was a lot of words to say "I'm a pussy." I'm just sayin' . . . .
    You should post less and parent more. Just sayin.....
    Last edited by moondoggie; 05-15-2012 at 11:44 PM. Reason: Unless you parent like you post. Then do the opposite.

  • #38
    asshat sessamoid grows his own roses sessamoid grows his own roses sessamoid grows his own roses sessamoid grows his own roses sessamoid grows his own roses sessamoid grows his own roses sessamoid grows his own roses sessamoid grows his own roses sessamoid grows his own roses sessamoid grows his own roses sessamoid grows his own roses sessamoid's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by MissingInAction View Post
    Cold turkey is dangerous and it's got nothing to do with your mental toughness. Get some pro advice buddy. Perhaps look into holistic options as well if insurance will cover it. Good luck buddy and let me know if there is anything I can do to help, IE: dogs, checking on the Mrs , etc.
    Opiate withdrawal is not dangerous, just really unpleasant. Now if you're talking about alcohol or benzos, that's a different story. Clonidine can help a lot.

  • #39
    asshat hamttx grows his own roses hamttx grows his own roses hamttx grows his own roses hamttx grows his own roses hamttx grows his own roses hamttx grows his own roses hamttx grows his own roses hamttx grows his own roses hamttx grows his own roses hamttx grows his own roses hamttx grows his own roses
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    If your serious I pray for you. There is $#@! that will run through your mind that proves the real is much stranger than fiction. Though sessamoid is correct about the danger, that is the last thing you will concern yourself with. They should never have let that demon out on the public. I am 58 and a 35 year rheumatoid arthritis sufferer, you know the kind that they end up cutting joints out of your frame and installing synthetics because everything is crooked. Two years ago I said $#@! it, I had enough and just like you I thought I would just stop, but you can't. If your pain can be controlled without an opiate god bless. If not the best you can do is change what you are taking and live in hell. I figured the wife would cut, and I wouldn't have blamed her. I was trying to go to work, and one day I wake up with two deputies and a doctor asking me if I am OK. I had just banged around a ZR1 Corvette, and I don't remember $#@!. Scares me every time I think about it, the horsepower the car had and I was not right. Had no business behind the wheel. Get professional help. If they offer counseling go ahead and start attending you will need it. If your married tell the wife you love her and it will get better. Stay on Shaggy the comedic relief is helpful.

    To the $#@! who used the term pussy....$#@! you. But I figure your just foolish and I hope nothing like this ever happens to you or someone you love and care about.

  • #40
    asshat mileslong might be a clever chap. or know the right people. know what i mean, nudge nudge? mileslong might be a clever chap. or know the right people. know what i mean, nudge nudge? mileslong might be a clever chap. or know the right people. know what i mean, nudge nudge? mileslong might be a clever chap. or know the right people. know what i mean, nudge nudge? mileslong might be a clever chap. or know the right people. know what i mean, nudge nudge? mileslong might be a clever chap. or know the right people. know what i mean, nudge nudge? mileslong might be a clever chap. or know the right people. know what i mean, nudge nudge? mileslong might be a clever chap. or know the right people. know what i mean, nudge nudge? mileslong might be a clever chap. or know the right people. know what i mean, nudge nudge? mileslong might be a clever chap. or know the right people. know what i mean, nudge nudge? mileslong might be a clever chap. or know the right people. know what i mean, nudge nudge? mileslong's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Doc Holliday View Post
    Oh and where the back issue came from is a variety of things. One, extremely tall people put more strain on their backs, a bowling team building event (which I bowled a 220)
    humble brag....

    seriously good lucK...

  • #41
    Thanks again everyone.

    The plan...step my pain patch down to half of what I take now and then after a week or two, going to go cold turkey. Since I've already stopped taking the muscle relaxers and hydros, I'm almost there. This part I feel is going to be the bitch if anything but I can't wait.

    Next up in my plan to fix the back will be myofacial release and more Physical Therapy so hopefully, I'll be back to normal in 4-6 months.

  • #42
    god speed, bro. the good news is that your doc was smart enough to put you on butrans instead of oxy or ms contin. i've had to come off the pain patch as well and i did it just like you're going to - 20mc->10mc->5mc. you'll probably think you're in the clear 7-8 days after you apply the last 5mc but hold on to your butts because the meds will actually still be in your system an additional 2-4 on top of the 7-8. that's when the fun begins. not nearly as bad as oxy/vicodin wd's, just lasts longer - it's kinda like the difference between peeling a band-aid off or ripping it off.

  • #43
    asshat Brisketexan has a gigantic e-peen. Brisketexan has a gigantic e-peen. Brisketexan has a gigantic e-peen. Brisketexan has a gigantic e-peen. Brisketexan has a gigantic e-peen. Brisketexan has a gigantic e-peen. Brisketexan has a gigantic e-peen. Brisketexan has a gigantic e-peen. Brisketexan has a gigantic e-peen. Brisketexan has a gigantic e-peen. Brisketexan has a gigantic e-peen. Brisketexan's Avatar
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    To the $#@! who used the term pussy....$#@! you. But I figure your just foolish and I hope nothing like this ever happens to you or someone you love and care about.
    Look at the URL at the top of your screen . . . smartassery is our MO around here, chief.

  • #44
    asshat Kyrie Eleison GORN Kyrie Eleison GORN Kyrie Eleison GORN Kyrie Eleison GORN Kyrie Eleison GORN Kyrie Eleison GORN Kyrie Eleison GORN Kyrie Eleison GORN Kyrie Eleison GORN Kyrie Eleison GORN Kyrie Eleison GORN Kyrie Eleison's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by sessamoid View Post
    Opiate withdrawal is not dangerous, just really unpleasant. Now if you're talking about alcohol or benzos, that's a different story. Clonidine can help a lot.
    "really unpleasant"...my ass.

    sheer hell on earth...

  • #45
    Doc, I had an issue with a herniated lumbar disk about six years ago. I was laid up in bed for several weeks (pissing in a jar, not able to move, not able to wipe your own ass "laid up"). Fortunately I wasn't on the pain meds long enough to develop a dependency.

    What finally worked for me was the epidural injections. I walked into the pain specialist's office with what felt like my back twisted into a pretzel, got the injections, and walked out standing up straight, carrying my crutches.

    I tried accupuncture, but that seemed a temporary release.
    Now i only require the occasional Ibuprofen or some chiropractic or massage therapy for "maintenance".

  • #46
    Quote Originally Posted by Kyrie Eleison View Post
    "really unpleasant"...my ass.

    sheer hell on earth...
    Lawyer/Doctor Fight!!!


  • #47
    60 hours in and it's getting better. Oh and I decided since I will be going through hell...er...I mean withdrawals I might as well kick the dipping habit. It's been a bitch but it's getting better by the hour. $#@! you bitches!

  • #48
    asshat KaiserSoze might be a clever chap. or know the right people. know what i mean, nudge nudge? KaiserSoze might be a clever chap. or know the right people. know what i mean, nudge nudge? KaiserSoze might be a clever chap. or know the right people. know what i mean, nudge nudge? KaiserSoze might be a clever chap. or know the right people. know what i mean, nudge nudge? KaiserSoze might be a clever chap. or know the right people. know what i mean, nudge nudge? KaiserSoze might be a clever chap. or know the right people. know what i mean, nudge nudge? KaiserSoze might be a clever chap. or know the right people. know what i mean, nudge nudge? KaiserSoze might be a clever chap. or know the right people. know what i mean, nudge nudge? KaiserSoze might be a clever chap. or know the right people. know what i mean, nudge nudge? KaiserSoze might be a clever chap. or know the right people. know what i mean, nudge nudge? KaiserSoze might be a clever chap. or know the right people. know what i mean, nudge nudge? KaiserSoze's Avatar
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    Keep it up Doc!

  • #49
    Beer Me TouchdownTexas grows his own roses TouchdownTexas grows his own roses TouchdownTexas grows his own roses TouchdownTexas grows his own roses TouchdownTexas grows his own roses TouchdownTexas grows his own roses TouchdownTexas grows his own roses TouchdownTexas grows his own roses TouchdownTexas grows his own roses TouchdownTexas grows his own roses TouchdownTexas grows his own roses TouchdownTexas's Avatar
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    Keep going man. Continued success.

  • #50
    thanks obama jt Probably Shaggy Upper Class jt Probably Shaggy Upper Class jt Probably Shaggy Upper Class jt Probably Shaggy Upper Class jt Probably Shaggy Upper Class jt Probably Shaggy Upper Class jt Probably Shaggy Upper Class jt Probably Shaggy Upper Class jt Probably Shaggy Upper Class jt Probably Shaggy Upper Class jt Probably Shaggy Upper Class jt's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Doc Holliday View Post
    I decided since I will be going through hell...er...I mean withdrawals I might as well kick the dipping habit.
    glutton for punishment! might as well give up booze and jacking off too!

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