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PostPosted: Tue Oct 05, 2010 9:41 am 
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Well I started that new Suboxone sublingual film. It was actually my third visit to a addiction/pain management specialist. This visit was to just go over a few questions in his office; he wrote me the script (he started out by writing 10 strips of 8mg/2mg) and thanks God for that $75 coupon. My medical coverage (BCBS - real good BTW); but the script coverage is awesome ($4 co-pay), but *ONLY* on generic medications, which this one is not initially made me a bit scared because of "What will my out of pocket expense be?"- it'll take too long at this point to go into my financial situation, but suffice it to say, it's not that great even though I do have a job, but OMG, those 10 strips, along w/the coupon came to 40 CENTS! Yea, and the pharmacy, which is directly/right next to the Dr.'s office is one of those Save/More Family owned (independently owned), pharmacy (mom and pop type). I do know and realize that these 10 strips won't get me through a month, but I have been told/heard that even though the coupon from the manufacturer is good for only *ONE* use a month, has been used by other customer's several times a month and it (the coupon) continues to approve! -This is good, but I'll find out when it comes time.
Well, on to my actual experience (as I am just putting my actual 2nd strip under my tongue because as I type, I have no need to talk, lol). Lets just says that as for a drug dependence person/user, I have hooked on opiods (mainly in the vicodin category; Percocet, tylen/w-codience/tussionex/ Robitussion HC and even Fentyl patches). Since about 1997, I have went through numerous experiences whereas pain medication has been indicated and prescribed. I went through a stent of getting about 4-6 kidney stones a year (for about 4-6 years until they finally stopped); a lower back injury -herniated disc); dental issues and finally other minor various little injuries whereas I was always given some type of pain medication (of course along with other things so that along with the vic. script, it doesn't look as suspect when going to the pharmacy when you also have another script such as an antibiotic, ect. (You folks know what I mean).
Also suffice to say I got into some trouble which took me into our wonderful law/court system. This didn't come from any type of drug issue relating to the vicodin, but I ended up messing up my car in a one person (me), occurrence because of being on Ambien and not knowing what was going on (yes I've also had sleeping issues). Helping me with that, my doctor took me off of the ambien, wrote a note for the court saying that he's been taken off of this med. because of potential unsafe reactions and is being under my direct follow up care for these issues).
This whole time I had/have been still using the vicodin, most times for some pain issues, but mostly because of the liking/craving for the feeling. Now for me, I get energy from it and that great sense of well being (like if something goes wrong in my life, everything will be okay and I can handle it because I have an advantage that others going through bad issues don't - vicodin in me and a bottle with more when I need it).

I started in my Dr.'s office yesterday on half a strip going through right now a process that he calls titration (getting me on a dosage and time frame on how long I need it until I need some again and weather or not I need a whole strip or can cut it in half). After staying in his office for 5 FIVE hours yesterday and having taken that second half of one strip I was AMAZED at my body's feeling! -First know I went in having gone MORE than 12hrs. with no vicodin, actually about 18 hours because I actually wanted to start feeling sick (withdrawal), but not too bad - you all know, but I wanted to be in a state so I could measure my reaction and tell (to myself), is this stuff working and how good is this new medication), me being the first time I've stopped my dependence on vicodin, although I've been in rehab one time before, but no medication, except for some valium/ativan to help me with that nasty thing we call withdrawal hell!!
My dr. even asked me to call him on his cell last night BEFORE midnight to let him know how I feel. He asked me if he thinks I need something so I can sleep or if I think I can sleep throughout the night and start again on a strip in the morning. I told him that while I can feel it wearing it off some, I feel that I'd be okay to sleep throughout the night and continue with treatment in the morning. He told me to then take a full strip in the morning after I wake up, have my coffee and then as he told me that this one strip probably won't take me through the entire day/evening/night, he again told me to call his cell phone later in the day when I feel that I'm getting to the point whereas I need something.
Folks, I cannot believe how amazing this stuff is. After leaving his office last night (having had a full strip, by being in his office for 5 hours), I have to say this and please don't take this wrong, but I felt so good (body and mind), so good as if I had taken a small handful of vic's!!! I felt wonderful, no more withdrawal that I came into the office with, and even *Like* I was high (even though I know I wasn't).
I was just HAPPY that I feel like my life is not revolving/dependant to HAVE to have those vics to get through my day and that I can live a day and do the things I need to do and now have the Vitality/feeling that I WANT to do things, even those mundane things like washing clothes that I need for work (since yesterday and today are my days off from work).
I'm also starting counseling this weekend; Saturday for me, group therapy that is every week for the first four weeks (and I know that this is part of my treatment and a necessary 2nd part in addition to the meds - because while I said I've been through rehab once, I was never given a med like this, only the ones I've mentioned to help ease (and it didn't do much), that withdrawal hell!
So as I finish my f[size=18]
irst post and thank everyone that read this and put up with my tons of typing and perhaps me saying the same thing more than once, but just in another way, if anyone has any thoughts or questions, or even comments, please don't hesitate. I'm just happy to continue my second, or rather FIRST day of a new life I believe I'm starting without a dependence that had been consuming my life, just about to the point that I was sick and tired of being sick and tired! -How's that to coin a phrase?! LOL.

-Carlos[/size]


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PostPosted: Tue Oct 05, 2010 11:03 am 
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Hello Carlos. I'd like to welcome you to the forum. Thanks for sharing your story. I'm happy to hear your induction went well and that you're feeling good. Many people do feel a sort of high their first few days of sub treatment, so it's possible that's what you're feeling, although I certainly don't want to discount your happiness...It's well deserved. I hope you stick around and keep posting...again, welcome!

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PostPosted: Thu Oct 07, 2010 1:25 am 
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Thanks again for the "welcome". And yes, you were correct. That very first day, I took (in my doc's office), only one strip, but starting out with it cut in half for 45 minutes. Then I had to sit there in his office and he wanted to see how I was doing/feeling at that point to see if I needed the other half (which I ended up getting based on the questions he asked). I also think that I did get that sorta "high" good feeling that I'd always have on vicodin because I purposely made myself go a bit longer than just the 12 hours he told me go without taking any more vicodin or opiods of any kind.
To me, that would my "real" test because who knows how our body feels at any given time more so than ourselves? LOL I told my mom/dad that I actually feel (and I prefaced this by telling them NOT to take it the wrong way), that I had felt so good, it was like I had downed a half dozen Vics. Of’ course my mom went ballistic and I had to explain again that these strips/this med is *NOT* a substitute for vicodin. I told her then, "What would be the point", and this is a medication that has many, many years of clinical study/proof behind it that helps (tremendously in my opinion), along with the second part of anyone's treatment (the counseling/therapy/meetings, ect).

Now I've been on these strips since Tuesday, and my doctor is doing right now what he calls "titration" with the strips. I have his personal cell phone and am told to call him ANYTIME, day or night (even if it's 3am!!!), when I feel that I have a craving and or are going in withdrawal (even when someone starts to get the "mild" discomforts and feelings).
Essentially, that is the ONLY way I can even take my strips right now; I don't actually even have a dosing/time schedule.
You see, Tuesday was actually my day off from work; I DEF. didn't want to start this program of med.sub.treatment and then head off to work on the same day. So tomorrow, Thursday he's having me do the same thing I did today (which was my first day at work being on these strips). I took two full strips in the morning when I woke up (for me it was about 8:30-9am), I started work at 11am. Well, I didn't get out of work until this evening until about 7:30pm and oh boy did I need to call him. And it would have been useless to call him on my last break at work because I left my strips/box at home because I was sure that having two whole strips in me would certainly last a measly 8 hour shift. I was doing pretty well for about 87% of my day, but I started to get agitated along with a few of those mild withdrawals.
Deal with customer's, working by talking to people all day (and interacting), I started to get/feel agitated, along with some anxiety. Then came on some yawns, a little restlessness and a few more I can't think of right now. I actually called him in my car with my cell phone cause I’m 5 miles from my work and would you believe it, I did *NOT* get a hold of him?
I started to panic, LOL. His voice mail though did say that my call would be returned promptly. Well, I left him a message and it was almost 45 minutes later. He told me that he was with another patient - understandably.
So after talking with him, he told me I could take one whole strip and that should get/give me some appetite back (because earlier in the day I was really hungry but I don't often eat at work or if I do, it's not much because after I eat, I'm one of those people that just wants to take a nap and having to go back and deal/walk w/people, ect, is not a good recipe if I'm feeling stuffed from a big lunch.
Well, it's about 1am now and I'm actually just now having a little bite to eat cause I am hungry. He told me that I should get through the nite as well (sleeping wise), too with no issue and to just repeat what I took today, again tomorrow.
He said though that if I get out of work again that late, I could have ventured into at least half a strip. I know Tuesday night I only had half a strip in the mid afternoon and that didn't get me to sleep. I called him at 12:48am and he had me go ahead and take a whole strip. He said, "You'll sleep well now", lol. Sure enough I did.
So the way it's looking now, I seem to be taking at least 3 strips a day (24 hour period). I believe I may need just a tad more, and he even told me when I called him on my way home that perhaps I might start out Thursday morning with 2 and a half strips. I thought to myself, WOW, oh - cool!, lol. Now if he actually had actually said that this was what he wanted me to do, I'm the type of person that would have wanted to only do the 2 strips after waking up, and then that "half" of one around like 3pm (considering I would take those first two at one time around 9am). To me I would be considering that "half", like a "rescue" tab. Because here I would be, at work and I know that things would be wearing off and this would give me just that little extra boost of feeling back to normal 100% again for the last third of my work shift. To me that makes more sense.
Well, I just realized and got a message from him that (and I thought about this too, but forgot to say something - can you imagine?!??!) - I only have TWO strips left!, lol. In his office when I started Tuesday afternoon, the only wrote me for 10 whole strips 8mg/2mg. So since I have to be at work in the morning again; this time not until 11:30am, I have to plan to fight morning traffic and give myself enough time because I actually want to go to the pharmacy that's by his office (and not the one where I work at). Sure I know the pharmacy staff could look things up and see that I'm on sub strips), but I feel better going to this little mom and pop place that's by his office. The only draw back is that one, it's not a chain, so if I ever did need him to call in a refill for me and time was not on my side at all, it would have to be local for me (where I work), because his office and this pharmacy is about 45 minutes, one way, from my home (and job).
But hey, it'll do me good to get going a little extra early in the morning!

More updates later.....If anyone would like to add/share/compare their story with mine, noting things that are happening with me that are similiar and or very different and or any suggestions as well, please feel free to share!
This is my SECOND time in recovery, so yea I relapsed. But hey, remember that old saying, "Relapse is part of recovery, but it doesn't have to be part of yours". LOL - With me it was, but hey I know I'm in the majority on that one!
Also, I need to note that I never received ANY type of meds when I first stopped on my own. Sure I got into a residential treatment place for two weeks, but the only thing I was given was Ambien so I could actually get some sleep - THIS IS AFTER I had already spent one full week at home, on sick leave, in my own apartment, all alone, in pure hell, not being able to sleep or eat; and yea, it was actually 7 days. What I would have done to have even got some ativan, klonopin, valium, or anything that would have at least allowed me to sleep and not feel like I wanted to throw up all night, not even having had anything to eat, LOL.
BTW, group counseling starts this week too, it's just not until Saturday morning (I got to choose one of two days a week that group counseling meetings commence). I work on the weekends, but don't go in until the evenings, so it works out.

Thank you to anyone that read/listened/kept on reading until this last word. I appreciate the support.


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Dr. Jeffrey Junig, M.D., Ph.D.

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