We just had Kendell Clark as a guest on the Kratom Science Podcast. He sent me a bunch of long emails and comments. But I like his ranting, and I hope you do too.
My name is Kendell Clark, and I’ve been struggling with a tramadol addiction for the better part of two years, maybe three. I want to tell my kratom story, if you’re interested that is. I’ve left comments on your website, on a couple of pages, trying to help others who are where I am, and worse, and looking for advice.. If you’re interested, please email me back and I’d be glad to tell you. I don’t want to drone on and on and on unless you’re interested, since I need to tell it in order to finally complete the last hurtle and finally become free from the tramadol which has haunted my life for what feels like decades. I no longer want it. I feel as if I no longer need it. But I do need kratom. I want to help people, and telling my kratom story will, I hope, help to do so.
I’m not sure what you’re going to put in the article that goes with the podcast, but I would like to suggest, if possible, that you put in all the circles I went through. How at first, 50mg, twice a day was enough, but gradually it escalated to 100mg at a time, 3 times per day, sometimes 4, which is the maximum limit by the FDA for tramadol. It ran out, pharmacy said too soon, doctor gave me more at first but gradually tightened up until she refused to give more, especially after I was an idiot and told her how much I was taking, trying to be honest with my own doc. She tried meloxicam, an anti inflammatory, for the pain and amitriptyline, a tricyclic antidepressant, for both the pain and withdrawal. She also gave me, I’m sorry I forgot to mention this, tizanidine, an adrenergic agonist used as a muscle relaxer, for the pain and sleep. All of those worked for me, if and only if I had tramadol to add to them. If I didn’t, they did nothing, nothing I could feel anyway. The devastating tramadol withdrawal symptoms I want to mention prominentl, the extreme rages and depression, the maddening itching and jerking in my arms and legs when I tried to sleep, the almost complete inability to sleep for days and weeks at a time except for half an hour or an hour or so where I’d pass out and be impossible to wake up, then be wide awake, feeling as if I hadn’t slept at all. I want complete disclosure. The only opioids I have eveer taken were tramadol, Demerol once that the local ER injected me with, that stuff hurt like hell and didn’t do much except help me sleep a bit, tylenol3, which is Tylenol with 30mg of codeine, and two hydrocodone given to me by the same E R down hear that is now closed. I also took a couple of my wife’s hydrocodone, but please do not put that in the article unless you have to, she gets those for a devastating back surgery that left her with a metal rod in her spine, and I’m afraid if her docs or anyone found out she’d be cut off, and she can’t afford to be cut off. Without them she hurts more than I did. Also one of the times I ordered meds over the internet I ordered tapentadol, which is like an adult version of tramadol, a similar molecule that has pain relieving effects similar to oxycodone, something I’ve never messed with, even in the midst of my withdrawal. I’ve never had fentanyl, heroine, or anything slose to that strong, nor do I ever intend to. I’d like to stress that opioids can be overcome, if you have emotional support, not necessarily rehab or N A but just compassionate friends or family members, and a drug, like kratom, which hits the same parts of the brain that the drugs you were addicted to hit. Withoug all of those, you will likely relapse. I know, I tried without all of those and I lasted a good while, but eventually relapsed. Only once, but I did. I also want to mention that I attempted to switch gp’s once, and only once. I got the name of one from one of the hospital docs, and made an appointment, even going so far as to formally switch docs with Medicaid, my health insurance. I told the person up front that I needed a med refill of everything I was on, including tramadol. But when I went in to see the doc, she told me that I had lied about being on tramadol, that I hadn’t told her staff up front that I was on it, as a result she wouldn’t see a drug seeker. She said that, out loud. Her suggestion was for me to try pain management, despite the fact that I told her that whole saga, gp sending me to a pain doc who didn’t prescribe tramadol until I practically begged, claiming injections of anti inflamatories, although I can’t remember which ones, would fix me right up. My problem isn’t an inflammatory one. Or not entirely one, anyway. It’s, I believe anyway, a central nervous system one, where opioids work only because they turn the pain switch off. I’ve tried over the counter pain relievers by the hundreds, every possible brand of Tylenol, advil, aleev, combinations of them, local and general anaesthetics, pain creams, patches, heat pads, none of them worked. The patches would work for a minute or two but then stop. I do want to point out that although my mom gave me a hell of a hard time about being addicted, she’s since come around after I willingly chose not to order more tramadol but switch to kratom about two months ago. I’m sorry my timing isn’t exactly accurate, I think you might have something about me having memory issues. Do you know a good over the counter, legal, netropic, I can take for that? I’ve heard about fenibut, and it’s legal hear, which acts like lyrica and gabapentin, something I’ve taken before for the pain, and which didn’t work for that but which did seem to help my memory or brain function, or some such. While I’m asking for netropics, do you know of any substance, that’s herbal, or over the counter, I can take to kick the nicotine habbit? I’m vaping now to help with the pain, but I started when I was back on the tram and now can’t seem to stop easily. It doesn’t help with the pain much except for the very first vape in the morning, all other times yield nothing. I want an herbal supplement I can take for this if possible, because I don’t believe my doc will prescribe me forennicline,
Brand name Chantix, for nicotine withdrawal. Vaping is a huge money pit, taking up a lot of my money with eLiquid, and I’d like to only have to buy kratom, not kratom and eLiquids and vapes when the ones I bought two weeks ago burn out their coils. Sorry, I’m rambling. I don’t want to mention the whole nicotine thing unless you think it’s a good idea. I think it might be to mention that vaping doesn’t seem to help with the pain, so anyone thinking about it should reconsider, but that’s up to you. I do want to mention that anyone considering taking tramadol should reconsider. I know they think it will help with the pain, and it will, but the side effects once they ware off are not worth the effort, trust me. I don’t want to tell them to suffer or see their doctor either, I’d be helping no one with that line, but consider taking kratom, either in powder, capsule, or tea form. It’s legal and available over the counter without a prescription, and it’s not scheduled, meaning you can buy more when you run out, so you don’t have to worry about early fills.
Thanks for listening
When I was ordering tram from internet pharmacies I did so in the open, half expecting a narc to show up at my door during at least one of the orders, but lucky for me it didn’t happen. I’m from east texas, I live in a town called grand saline, deep in the heart of east texas, about an hour from dallas. Not much around hear, a couple of np’s but no licensed docs, my gp is in canton. My doc is somewhat, though not very, sympathetic to my struggle but she absolutely refuses to help with it. Her np told me numerous times that if I just lost weight, she apparently considers 180 pounds on a 5 5 frame fat, I’d stop hurting. Which struck me as ridiculous. Want to describe my story in detail, both in the article and in the podcast, including the devastating withdrawal symptoms from tram, not because I want attention to but demonstrate that kratom works on not just pain but the other, less easily described symptoms as well. The point is to hammer home the point that opioids can be beaten, but only with a substance that does the same thing, binds to the same receptors, as the drugs you were taking. Emotional support plays a crucial role too, and that’s one thing I lack. My wife cares, but since she gets her own opioids from a pain doc near hear due to having a metal rod in her spine from back surgery, she can’t really relate to running out and having to pay out of pocket for meds, both tram and kratom, since her health insurance covers them. She says she understands, but I’m not sure she does. My mom is one of those people who believes Tylenol advil and aleve cover all pain unless you’re a drug addict, something I’m sure I said way too much in the comments on your dose conversion chart and tea preparation page, and apparently people took issue with that. They thought I was seeking attention even though I tried to be clear I wasn’t, but you can’t please everyone. I’m not sure if you’ve read the comments yet. If not, can you look at them when you have time? Not just mine, but the responses I got. I don’t plan to go into all of that in the article and the podcast unless you think it’s a good idea, since I want to try to convince people currently struggling that there is another option other than prescribed or illegal meds or simply suffering, not to go on and on and on about how bad tramadol withdrawal is, although I’ll be honest and say it’s the worst I have ever felt. I do want to go into … I’ve already said that. I’ll stop bugging you now. I hope you have plenty of time, since I plan to talk a lot about how unfairly kratom seems to be being treated in the medical industry, every time I look for kratom dosage I get articles such as “kratom, unsafe and ineffective,” from the mayo clinic and something similarly titled from web md. The only positive articles seem to be from you guys and a few other sights that say the same thing, or sights that seem to be … how to put this, advocating for people who take psychidelics, which doesn’t help kratom’s case. I have nothing against psychidelic use to be clear, but clear, easy to understand kratom info is hard to find. One thing I do plan to cover, if you think it’s a good idea, is a sort of opioid equivalency table that works for kratom. For a pain killing effect similar to codeine, take this much. For tramadol, take this much. For hydrocodone, take this much, and so on. The paranoya about the FDA puzzles me. Why in hell do so many kratom sights say things like, we don’t provide dosing instructions so the person buying kratom is at their own risk, we only sell kratom for burning in insense, when they know damn well that’s not what they’re doing. This product has not been evaluated by the FDA and is not intended for … etc etc etc. Their point? People buying kratom are looking for help, either getting off opioids, looking for relief from chronic pain, or to help with energy or anxiety disorders. To get this help, they need dosing instructions, not a bunch of generic advice. Your site is the clearest I have found, but it does still have a lot of general, 1 to 10 grams instead of, for pain relief similar to tram, take … and so on. I’m not a lawyer so their might be perfectly good reasons why the advice is vague, but I stand by what I’ve said. People need specific help and advice, not general advice. I’m not going to bring any of that up unless you think it’s a good idea, I’m not hear to criticize your site or any other. It was another kratom story that gave me the last push to really buckle down and stick to kratom. My comments say I’m fighting the urge to go back on the tram, and I was. That urge is now gone. Completely. I do still wish I could take less kratom for the effects, but that’s not the sleep reducing need it was even a week or so ago. I do wish kratom were sold in drug stores and pharmacies, given the same respect they give other, less effective, at least on me, over the coutner pain meds like Tylenol and such, but I’ve given up on it ever happening. Apart from the kratom stories and the podcast, is there anything else I can do to try to help kratom eventually get to that point, if it ever does? I’m against drug rehab programs, although that’s a personal choice and not a good one. I’ve got an idea that drug rehabs are like prisons with doctors who don’t care, or prisons with preachers and sermans, and that apparently pissed at least one guy off very badly. I’ve never been to drug rehab and I have a lot of baggage against going, mostly because my mom assures me nearly daily that if I just asked for help, everything would be gold again. Ok, I’ll shut up now. I hope I’m not taking up too much of your time with my ramblings.
Yup, I commented as Kendell clark. I didn’t get many responses, and what I did get wasn’t … wel, it’s all in the comments. I’d be glad to write the whole thing down in an email, but you’ll get all of it in comments if that’s easier. I’ll definitely call in for the podcast, I just need the number to call. I’ll be up all day, so I can call in earlier than 2 pm my time, just tell me when to call. I assume the point of the kratom stories is people who got off opiates with kratom, and I have done that. This time at least. I relapsed once about eight months ago and went back on kratom two months ago I believe it is now. There were three comments that I can remember. One very supportive, one sort of neutral and one very negative indeed. I responded to them all, although I think I might have lost it a bit at the negative one. My story is basically one you’ve probably heard a thousand times before. I have scoliosis, and that resulted in a tramadol prescription, 50mg 60 tablets, twice per day, one tablet. Escalating use, tablets ran out, pharmacy couldn’t refill, doctor wouldn’t re prescribe, got ent to a pain doc who wouldn’t prescribe anything until I bugged for a couple of hours, was bugged to try injections, which I wouldn’t do because I had already tried anti inflamatories first before the tram and they didn’t work. My doc tried alternate meds, meloxicam for the pain after the tram withdrawals set in, which of course failed. Amitriptyline for the pain and withdrawals, which also failed. Several hospital trips, a couple of small scrips, escalating contempt, finally a complete refusal to precribe tram no matter how I tried. I began ordering them off the internet from pharmacies which I was glad to know noting about, at huge price hikes. Price per pill gradually went up, the amount of pills I could order gradually went down. Switched pharmacies a couple o times but the prices were similar. Mom turned me onto kratom about a year ago now, it worked much much better than the tram ever did, but the amont of capsules I had to take resulted in the same situation, amount of capsules running out and I couldn’t afford to buy more, so I relapsed. Went back on the tram. My smoke shop now sells 300 and 500 count capsule bottles, which last me an entire month, and I finally found a dosage that works for me, 6 500mg capsules. Kratom kills my pain, not just a little bit but completely, and suppresses any withdrawal symptoms. The most important part of my kratom story is to try to help other people who are struggling with the same exact problem, no matter the opioid taken or the dose taken. Kratom can work. I’ve read comments from people who got off heroine and fentanyl with it, and those two are nothing to mess around with. For anyone contemplating taking tramadol, reconsider. That stuff will turn you inot a person you won’t recognize when the pills run out. Extreme mood swings, extreme insomnia, extreme rls (uncontrolable jerking of the arms and legs), heightening pain. I do believe opioids can be taken without becoming hooked, but it’s a hard road. You can follow the scrip to the letter and still become hooked. And, most importantly of all, do not blame yourself if you become hooked. It’s not because of a flaw of yours that it happens. That doesn’t mean you can rampage around overdosing on the stuff and going hey it’s not my fault either, but don’t beat yourself up if it happens, is all I’m trying to say.I do wish kratom came in tablets or chewables, but that’s mostly a wishful thinking thing. If I could take just one kratom tablet versus multiple capsules,
I might not have even relapsed that once. One thing I want to see is medical prescriptions for kratom, and dosing instructions on the packaging, damn the FDA’s not for human consumption rule, what the hell do they think people buy kratom capsules or powder for, to burn in candles? That would mean health insurance could bear the cost of the kratom instead of people having to pay out of pocket, which for people on a fixed income, like myself, can make a huge difference.
Thanks for listening.