It is currently Tue Aug 22, 2017 9:27 am



All times are UTC - 5 hours [ DST ]


Our Sponsors





Post new topic Reply to topic  [ 9 posts ] 
Author Message
PostPosted: Wed Apr 21, 2010 6:52 pm 
Offline
3 Months or More
3 Months or More
User avatar

Joined: Wed Aug 19, 2009 4:53 pm
Posts: 92
Location: Texas
OK, so maybe not THAT fascinating....but I had to title it something...here goes

I have been lurking around the site for several months (since August), and have posted a few times, but thought it would be a good idea to finally introduce myself. As I said to some other people, I am generally a VERY outgoing person, but find that I am pretty shy on the internet….weird, I know (I think it has to do with the idea that there is a permanent record of whatever I say online, whereas verbal craziness can be forgotten over time).

Current vital stats…I am 30 and have been married for 6 years. I have a Psych/English degree and, last year, was working on an MSW (Masters in Social Work), with hopes of becoming a therapist. Ironically enough, at the height of my addiction, I was interning at an in-patient rehab facility, working as a student-therapist (and taking drugs in between clients…I am a winner :oops: ) But, my addiction took over, so I dropped out of grad school (oh yea, I didn’t tell my husband for 6 months…I told him I was going to class when I was actually doctor shopping or seeing a dealer). I plan to go back to school when I feel more secure in my sobriety (it’s hard to help someone else when you are a mess yourself). In the mean time, I just completed my teaching certification, passed the test (yea), and am hoping to start work in September.

Long story short, I have been addicted to opiates for about 10 years. It began with Vicodin. My father had serious pain issues from guillain barre syndrome, a failed laminectomy (the surgeon removed the wrong disk, had to operate again, and damaged a lot of the operative area), and diabetic neuropathy. He still wanted to practice, so he took a low dose of Vicodin to manage the pain and stay clear-headed. I started experimenting with them when I was in college. At this time, I was also drinking A LOT, but really preferred opiates, since I felt better on them, and didn’t get a hangover. My use continued like this for a while….using opiates when I could get them, drinking too much in between, but not craving anything or having withdrawals (because I was in control….right?). My father died in July 2008, and my use skyrocketed. It was like the habit was already there, it just needed something to kick start it.

From July 2008 until August 2009, I checked out of life, and hid it from EVERYONE. Then, in July 2009, I had a seizure (I have epilepsy, but it has been under control for years). I had fallen down (see “blackout”) and hit my head; the head injury lead to the concussion, which lead to the seizure. My psychiatrist (who I had been seeing for years for issues with anxiety and depression) teaches at the hospital where I was taken post-seizure, and he was highly suspicious of the whole situation (the fall, my tox screen, etc). What I didn’t know at the time is that, in addition to his private practice, he runs a rehab facility. Two days later, he calls me to “check-up”, and, after the how are you doing stuff, says, “so, what’s with the opiates?”. (silence from me) Then says, “Don’t worry about lying about it, I pulled your DEA records, and I have a feeling this is only half of the story” (more stunned silence, and some tears) Then he says, “If you want help, come to my office on Thursday, bring your husband, and I’ll have you off of all this crap by next week”. After crying for several hours, talking to my husband, and crying for several more hours, I decided to give it a shot. He put me on Suboxone, set up weekly counseling sessions, and I was off of “all that crap” by the end of the week. I did try to go off Suboxone in November, and relapsed 6 weeks later, and have been back on it since January 11.

I am truly blessed. I have read so many of your stories about how difficult it is to find a doctor, get an appointment, get the medication, etc….it shocked me. I was so lucky. Who else had a doctor call their HOUSE, offer an appointment, and prescribe Sub for them? And, he is a really great doctor…all you have to do is leave a voicemail, and he calls back THAT DAY…no exceptions. Things are going so well….the biggest change, for me, is that I look forward to getting up in the morning (I used to try to sleep as long as possible to avoid dealing with life). My only question is, why did I wait so long?

Thanks for listening (or, I guess reading is more appropriate), and thanks to everyone who regularly posts. Regardless of the topics, your comments keep me sane. It's so good to know that I am not alone. Sorry so long....brevity is not my strong suit!!!

_________________
Elizabeth

Subs Not Drugs!!!

"Don't hope for a life without problems. An easy life results in a judgmental and lazy mind."
- Zen Master Kyong Ho


Top
 Profile  
 
 Post subject:
PostPosted: Wed Apr 21, 2010 8:33 pm 
Offline
Long Time Member
Long Time Member
User avatar

Joined: Mon Jun 08, 2009 4:04 pm
Posts: 391
Wow what a cool story.......and a sense of humor. We addicts are funny like that. I had to laugh at the I am winner part cause I can so relate. My job has me dealing with people in addiction who do things wrong and I would love nothing more than to say "we now have to go to your home and retrieve any schedule drugs you have taken from here" (so I can turn half of them in.........)

I can only imagine your heart stopping when that doctor said so causually so what's up with the opiates? But you know what ....what a true life saver he is....your a miracle. He saw something in you and reached out way beyond his obligation to help you...that is very cool. Damn I hated finding those smart doctors when I would doctor shop....I use to say "all right this one looks easy enough"........then POW..I think IBUPROFEN 800mg should handle that...no I don't think so...oh yes it will...are you sure? Yeah........good luck and follow up with your primary doctor...by the way who is your primary? Ok thanks for your help SIR....

Anyways welcome..glad your hear. Please post anytime we always love hearing new stories. Congrats on the teaching degree......you are on your way...again ..How cool.

Jim


Top
 Profile  
 
 Post subject:
PostPosted: Wed Apr 21, 2010 9:05 pm 
Offline
Long Time Member
Long Time Member
User avatar

Joined: Wed Feb 17, 2010 10:03 pm
Posts: 991
Elizabeth,

Thanks for sharing your story. You write well and it was a good read. We have a lot in common. What did the doc mean when he said he pulled your DEA record?

Definitely congrats on the degree! I too dropped out at the tail end of my masters program due to my addiction. I only had one thing left to do...........take the test :roll: So I actually have 2 masters certificates and have completed all of the coursework. Addiction sucks. (Of course so does my ADD). Now I don't know what I want to do with myself :(

I am glad you posted. Do you plan to stay on suboxone long term? Do you know what you plan to do? Are you involved in a 12-step program? (Please don't feel pressured to share more than you are comfortable with).

Cherie


Top
 Profile  
 
Our Sponsors
 Post subject:
PostPosted: Wed Apr 21, 2010 10:32 pm 
Offline
3 Months or More
3 Months or More
User avatar

Joined: Wed Aug 19, 2009 4:53 pm
Posts: 92
Location: Texas
Wow…thanks for the responses!

Jim…Yea, my heart did stop. The thing is, I had an established relationship with this doctor. I had seen him for about 4 years for depression, anxiety, and ADD treatment, but I had no idea that he was involved with addiction treatment as well. Honestly, if I had known, I probably would have run away to avoid detection. Like you, I hated the crafty doctors that could see through the BS…in retrospect, I should write them all a thank you letter as part of my recovery…which step is that again? :) So, when he confronted me, I was super embarrassed because I had been lying to him for all those years. But, at the same time, I knew and trusted him, so it has made my recovery that much easier. I have to admit, when he first told me that he would have me clean in a few day, I thought he was f-ing with me…I had visions of being locked away in some padded room sweating out the drugs a la “Trainspotting”. He really is a great doctor though…I pretty much hit the jackpot with that one. He’s not easy on me, and knows me well enough to call me on the BS, but I need that, so it works for me.

Cherie…I was so glad to hear from you. I think we are very much alike. Often times, your posts are almost exactly what I was thinking when I read the post. Maybe it’s the ADD personality (I also have ADD)? It is good to hear that other people have “unfinished” degrees…I really felt like a failure for a long time (and sometimes still do). But, I know it’s the right decision, even though it kinda sucks too! I don’t know about you, but, even before I was actively using, I found that finishing things was always hard for me; I always have a million half-done projects sitting around the house. Maybe that’s the ADD too?

To answer your questions:
1. I plan to take sub for a while. I started at 8mg in August (even when I was using, I never had to take much of anything…guess that makes me a “lucky addict”, if there is such thing). I gradually tapered, then jumped from 1mg in October. I relapsed in December (Merry Christmas everyone!!!!), called my doctor in January, and re-induced as soon as I was in withdrawal. In Jan., I started at 6mg, went down to 4mg after 2 weeks, and tried, unsuccessfully, to go to 2mg last month. My doctor thinks that some of the trouble I am having with the reduction is related to anxiety, so I started on Effexor last week (been off and on SSRI’s most of my adult life). We are staying at 4mg until it kicks in, then will try, at my pace, to taper. My doctor isn’t talking about stopping the sub (although I don’t think he is a fan of life- long maintenance, but told me that he considers each patient individually) so I plan to be on it at least 6-8 months, and maybe forever.
2. I go to NA meetings, but I am getting less and less out of them. My doctor doesn’t require them, but does encourage some sort of recovery tools. I am thinking about going to a SMART meeting, as there are several in my area. Have you ever gone to any of these meetings?
3. As far as the DEA record thing, I am honestly not sure if he requested the info, or if my doctor shopping triggered a warning, and the information was sent to him (and probably all other doctors who prescribed to me). But, I saw the list, and it was a printout of ALL the prescriptions and prescribing doctors from the last year. I have heard of this happening to other doctor shoppers as well, but I don’t know the exact process. It was NOT a fun list.

Thanks again for the responses. It feels so good to talk about this stuff!! Like I said, NA is not super helpful for me, and I certainly can't talk about the Sub issues there.

_________________
Elizabeth

Subs Not Drugs!!!

"Don't hope for a life without problems. An easy life results in a judgmental and lazy mind."
- Zen Master Kyong Ho


Top
 Profile  
 
 Post subject: Welcome!!!
PostPosted: Thu Apr 22, 2010 8:00 am 
Offline
Super-Duper Poster
Super-Duper Poster
User avatar

Joined: Tue May 12, 2009 10:02 am
Posts: 308
Location: Ft. Lauderdale, Florida
Hi Elizabeth,
Welcome to the Forum and it's great to her your story. While I was reading your story my head was bobbing up 'N down in agreement.... :) ! I could definitely relate to alot of your story. The Dr. shopping seams to be one of us addicts favorite pastimes?? I also have a great relationship with both my Primary Dr. and my Psychiatrist and had to level with both of them about my Drug addiction AND about four months later my Alcoholism!!! They both were very receptive to my ISSUSES and had my best interest in mind when I started treatment and right up to Today.... I feel very fortunate to have the doctors that I do looking after me... I knew after I read your post in the "Why the Anger " Section that you would be a good fit to the Forum. You write very clearly and to the point and that is appreciated no matter what side of the conversation you are on.... Again we are glad you are here and hope you continue to post often.... Best of luck in your Recovery!!!

God Bless
TW

_________________
"I may not have ALL I want but thank's to God I now know that I have ALL I need !!!!!!
#############
ODAAT


Top
 Profile  
 
 Post subject: Hi TW
PostPosted: Thu Apr 22, 2010 12:08 pm 
Offline
3 Months or More
3 Months or More
User avatar

Joined: Wed Aug 19, 2009 4:53 pm
Posts: 92
Location: Texas
TW,

Thanks for the reply! Yea…Dr. shopping was pretty much my only hobby for a while. In fact, one of the things I noticed when I first got sober was how much more time I had!! I really appreciated your comments on the “Why the Anger” page. I was a little nervous to post that reply, especially since it was the first big post I had written. I think that always imagining the worst case scenario is part of my addict behavior (i.e. "the withdrawal will kill me", "I will relapse eventually", "no one will like me sober", and on and on and on….aaahhhh!!!). So, positive reinforcement always feels good, and helps to silence the negativity.

Thanks again!

Elizabeth

_________________
Elizabeth

Subs Not Drugs!!!

"Don't hope for a life without problems. An easy life results in a judgmental and lazy mind."
- Zen Master Kyong Ho


Top
 Profile  
 
 Post subject:
PostPosted: Fri Apr 23, 2010 9:48 am 
Offline
6 Months or More
6 Months or More
User avatar

Joined: Tue Oct 20, 2009 11:29 am
Posts: 246
Hi Elizabeth -

Thanks for the story! This might sound silly, but help and support comes in all forms. First, your signature said something about not wishing for an easy life.... For me today, that helped!

Thanks for sharing your story. I am glad you are part of the forum, and are now sharing your outgoing personality here. I appreciate your story.

It is amazing what lengths we will go to to get our DOC. Your story is so familiar. One of the worst part for me is the 'SECRETS'... In our lives, secrets always cause problem, especially between spouses.

Suboxone for me gave me a legal way to get help - and to erase those secrets.

When you relapsed, was it a surprise? I'm nervous that way. I want to be able to taper off and do fine, but I am nervous that the pressures of life, and my own weakness to escape will kick in - no matter how many meetings, or friends / support I have. Guess that's my challenge.

Thanks again for sharing your story, and I look forward to reading more in the future!

--LD


Top
 Profile  
 
 Post subject:
PostPosted: Fri Apr 23, 2010 12:53 pm 
Yes, Elizabeth....thanks for sharing! I'm like you in terms of being a real outgoing person. I've always been a talker and a pretty open-book type person. My addiction sure changed all that! I never could stand sneaky, deceitful, fake people. How ironic that I became one! That's what addiction does.....it changes us in ways we could never imagine. There aren't many types of behaviors that I deplore in others that I haven't now been guilty of myself! I hate that part so much! I could relate to you deceiving your husband about school....completely hiding your addiction from everyone. I was a master at that. I wish now that I hadn't been so good at it. Maybe if I hadn't been I would've gotten help sooner. I'm pretty sure things would have been a lot better for me if my husband or a good friend or even a doctor had confronted me instead of getting 'busted' at work. That was not a good day! So.....God bless that doctor for confronting you. He did you a big favor that day.
As far as the DEA record thing.....My understanding (very limited) is that most states now have a prescription tracking system through which a doctor or pharmacist (not sure who else) can obtain a record of every Rx a particular person has received and by what doctor. I don't know if the system is available to all providers for use any time, or if it's a system which the provider must subscribe to and/or pay for. I know we have it in Oklahoma and I believe there aren't too many states left that don't have something like this. I have definitely heard of it though. I know of a lady who was required to go see an Addictionologist after a relapse and he had her 'list' right in from of him when she went in and started denying or understating what she had been up to. The main idea of the system (as I understand it) is to deter people from doctor shopping and diverting Rxs to the street. I'd be curious to know more about how the system works if anyone knows.
About your relapse......Would you be okay with telling us more about what happened and the feelings or trigger(s) that led up to it. I'm curious too about what your tolerance was like after being off the Sub for several weeks. I've read somewhere that after being off opiates (Sub included) for a while your tolerance is initially way low, but quickly goes right back up to where it was before. Was that true in your experience? Beyond all that......I'm real impressed that you stopped the cycle, went back to your doctor and got back on the Suboxone. That took a lot of humility and I appreciate you sharing about it here. Like Lathedude mentioned, that's something a lot of us (myself included) worry about in terms of trying to go off Sub at some point.
One more thing - Try not to worry about not being successful yet in dropping down to 2mg. That was difficult reduction for me too. It took me several months to go from 4mg/day to 2mg/day. I've not been good about keeping records of what I've done, but basically what I did was kind of bounce around over the course of a couple of months, never taking more than 4mg/day. I would kind of alternate by taking 3mg one or two days in a row, then taking 4mg for a day and so forth until I just stuck with straight 3mg/day. I stayed there for a few weeks and then started taking only 2mg for a day and alternate with 3mg. Until I have now gotten myself to the 2mg/day. I know it's a weird way of tapering but it's working okay and my doctor is fine with it. So maybe instead of you trying to drop all the way from 4mg to 2mg, you could try 3mg for a while or alternate 3mg/4mg every other day for a while. We're all so different with this medication that I think we just have to work out what works best for us. Really though, especially in light of your relapse, I think you're smart to just slow it down and stay where you're at for a while. Hopefully the Effexor will help too. As I have tapered, I've noticed that mood issues are the hardest to deal with. I can handle the runny nose and a little RLS and achiness, but it's been dysphoria, irritability and low motivation that are the worst of the w/d symptoms. So I relate to your difficulty there.
Anyway....long enough (again) Take care and keep up the good work!


Top
  
 
 Post subject:
PostPosted: Sat Apr 24, 2010 12:43 pm 
Offline
3 Months or More
3 Months or More
User avatar

Joined: Wed Aug 19, 2009 4:53 pm
Posts: 92
Location: Texas
Thanks for all the great replies. I wrote a long post about my relapse and put it in the "stopping suboxone" forum. If there are more questions about it, just ask.

Lathe...sorry you were having a bad day yesterday. :( Are you feeling better today/ Anything specific going on, or just crappy day in general? I'm glad the quote helped, it is one of my favorites. Whenever I feel bad, I think of two things:1. I feel better than I ever did using and 2.the bad days of my past have let me appreciate how good these days are now.

Stemefree...Thanks for the support about the taper. I wrote a little bit about it in my relapse post, but I think i push myself too hard to get down on my dose, and I don't know why. I agree, the mental stuff is MUCH worse than the physical stuff. The SSRIs have worked in the past, so I hope this one will help. I am having a lot of side effects from the Effexor (REALLY bad stomach stuff, headaches, fatigue, fuzziness) that I didn't have with the other SSRIs, so I am going to call my doctor Monday and see what I need to do. But, I definitely need to be on SOME anti-depressant, so we'll see.

Thanks again.....hope everyone is having a good Saturday!! :D

_________________
Elizabeth

Subs Not Drugs!!!

"Don't hope for a life without problems. An easy life results in a judgmental and lazy mind."
- Zen Master Kyong Ho


Top
 Profile  
 
Display posts from previous:  Sort by  
Post new topic Reply to topic  [ 9 posts ] 

All times are UTC - 5 hours [ DST ]


Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 0 guests


You cannot post new topics in this forum
You cannot reply to topics in this forum
You cannot edit your posts in this forum
You cannot delete your posts in this forum
You cannot post attachments in this forum

Search for:
Jump to:  
Our Sponsors
Suboxone Forum latest topics RSS feed Subscribe to the entire forum
 

 

 
Fond Du Lac Psychiatry
Dr. Jeffrey Junig, M.D., Ph.D.

  • Board Certified Psychiatrist
  • Asst Clinical Professor, Medical College of Wisconsin

Powered by phpBB® Forum Software © phpBB Group