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 Post subject: Desperately need advice
PostPosted: Wed Dec 22, 2010 8:02 pm 
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This is my first post, so I hope that I am doing it correctly. I suffer from several pain issues, including a failed lumbar surgery and fibromyalgia. On most days, my pain level is a 7, if I am lucky. My PCP has prescribed Vicodin ES, twice a day, which is basically useless to combat this kind of pain. But it's all he's comfortable prescribing. In March of this year, both my 81-year-old mother and my sister became critically ill. My mother was in Intensive Care at the local hospital because she was hemorrhaging internally, and my sister was in Intensive Care at another hospital suffering from a cerebral hemorrhage. My mother's bleeding was eventually stopped, but my sister couldn't be helped and she passed away the day before Easter. My sister was my best friend. There wasn't a day that went by that we didn't talk, either in person or by phone. After work, she would stop by and have dinner with my mom and me. We never lived more than 5 miles from each other. I am totally devastated that she is gone. While my mom and sister were hospitalized, I traveled about 100 miles each day to visit them. Needless to say, my pain was so severe, I could barely walk, sleep or even eat. This is when a friend offered me some Methadone. He received a high dose from the Veteran's but only took a few a day. Stupidly, I began to take 20 to 30 mg per day. Before long, my physical pain was tolerable. I discovered that the Methadone also relieved much of my emotional pain.
After my sister's death, my mother was hospitalized 3 more times for internal bleeding without the doctors being able to locate the source. Each time, she almost died. Normally, I would have been distraught, but the Methadone numbed me emotionally. Last October, my mother again almost bled to death, but this time they found and treated the source of bleeding. She's now fine, thank God, but I am addicted to Methadone. And I desperately want to stop taking it. You cannot go through life without feelings. A few times, I decided to stop taking the Methadone, but I went through withdrawals. And we all know how awful that is. I can't go through a withdrawal for months. I am the sole caregiver to my mother. She depends on me.
After doing much research on the internet, I came across Suboxone. From what I read, Suboxone could provide me with the help I need to get through the withdrawals, while getting involved in the psychotherapy that I really need. I could stay on the Suboxone for a few weeks, then start a taper so that when I got off of it, the withdrawals would be minimal. Most importantly, I would be able to take care of my mother.
I called my insurance co. (a Medicaid HMO in SW PA) and got a list of doctors who prescribe Suboxone and accept my insurance. I was shocked and dismayed at what happened next. Each doctor's office told me that while they accept my insurance for most illnesses, they won't accept it for Suboxone treatment. I would have to pay between $300-$500 out of pocket. I was on the phone with at least 40 doctors and clinics and each one told me the same thing. I feel as though I am drowning and there is a lifesaver within arm's reach. But no one is willing to push me the lifesaver my way. I want off the Methadone, but the prospect of going through months of withdrawal is unfathomable. And cruel. I realize that my addiction is my fault. There is no one else to blame but me. But I have medical insurance that pays for Suboxone treatment, These doctors won't accept my insurance, they want more money than the insurance will give them. My insurance even pays for the Suboxone tablet and film (after prior authorization is acquired). I receive S.S.I. No way can I afford to pay for treatment out of pocket. I have no credit nor access to any credit. There is no one from whom I can borrow money to pay for treatment. I need some help. Does anyone have any ideas for me? I am waiting for a doctor to call me back, but he's not available until 12/27. I have no reason to believe he will treat me without charging some huge fee. Any advice or ideas for me would be so appreciated. Thank you all so much for listening to me ramble. From reading many of the posts from this web site, you all seem so kind. Just reading this forum has been a comfort for me. But hope is fading fast.


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PostPosted: Wed Dec 22, 2010 9:14 pm 
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First of all, you have my deepest sympathies for the loss of your sister. I can only imagine the pain you and your family suffered at that deep, personal loss. I completely understand how you ended up where you are. You're only human after all. I won't, at this time, go into why I think if you get on suboxone you should stay on it longer than you're planning. I hear that you've called many doctors, but I have some suggestions that may or may not help.

Have you considered being honest with your doctor about what is happening? Perhaps he can help you. ANY doctor can prescribe suboxone off-label for pain. Maybe he'll do it and maybe, just maybe, it will help your pain. Then there's the online doctor locators. One is at the top of this site, it's suboxone-directory.com. There's also naabt.org, samhsa.gov, and suboxone.com. It is possible that they have doctors listed that your insurance company didn't. And you could start cold-calling psychiatrists. Some of them prescribe suboxone without "advertising" it, per se. Personally I found my doctor through the naabt locator and he has since become my primary care doctor and takes my insurance.

I hope this helps at least a little.

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-As I have grown older, I've learned that pleasing everyone is impossible, but pissing everyone off is a piece of cake.

-I'm only responsible for what I say, not for what you understand.


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PostPosted: Wed Dec 22, 2010 9:26 pm 
Whats up JimBoRam!!

I am very sorry to hear about the your loss!! It must be horrible and if you ever need a place to talk, this is the place. I too was hooked on methadone. It is definitely rough to withdrawal from. Sub did the trick for me and i really believe it can work for you as well. We really gotta get you a doctor though. Like hat said, the doctor locators that she posted are a great start. They could very easily list somebody your insurance company didnt. Also, i would be calling every doctor you possibly can to see if they can help you. Surely their is someone who can help you. I would like to say, they dont all deny insurance. Their are some that except it. I know its a real pain to call everywhere only to hear the same thing over and over. But i promise you, their is someone who will help you. Have you tried calling anywhere out of you town? I know my doctor is about 60 miles from where i live but its worth the drive. I prefer out of town anyways because they dont know me. Anyways, i know this probably isnt any help to you but i do wanna welcome you to the forum and like i said, feel free to post anytime about anything thats on your mind. You are sure to get a helpful response in no time. Well, i wish you nothing but the best and i hope you'll let us know how it works out for you.


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PostPosted: Wed Dec 22, 2010 9:38 pm 
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Hatmaker,

Thank you so much for your kind words. And thank you for taking the time to read my post and replying. I appreciate your advice, I think it's very valuable. As far as staying on Suboxone longer than a few weeks, I have to agree with you. I may need to be on it longer than I first planned. And that is fine with me. I will discuss this with the doctor and I'm sure we'll reach the right treatment for me (that is if I can find a doctor to treat me LOL) Just kidding. I know there is someone out there who will help. I didn't realize how much effort it could take to find him/her. I live in the country. That could be part of the problem. There aren't many doctors in my area, let alone those who prescribe Suboxone. I may need to look farther away.
I have considered talking to my primary care doctor about my methadone abuse, but he is so against anything stronger than Vicodin that I'm afraid it could turn into something very negative. I think your idea about calling psychiatrists in my area is a very good one. Several of them accept my insurance. I will get busy on that next Monday.
I created a profile at the naabt web site. I have received an email from a local doctor. He's out of town until 12/27. I'm hoping he'll have some good news for me. I never heard of samhsa, so I'll go straight there after I'm done writing to you. I called the helpline number at the Suboxone website. They were helpful.
Thank you again for your response. You made me feel a little more hopeful, and that's a good feeling. Have a wonderful Holiday Season!


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 Post subject: Hi
PostPosted: Wed Dec 22, 2010 10:13 pm 
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Hello JimBoRam, nice to meet you. I am Queenie, the grandma of the forum.

I would like to welcome you and although I am no expert on Suboxone(I leave that to others here) I want you to know that I am here to lend an ear or a shoulder anytime. I have had many surgeries and an amputation and became addicted to painkillers. Suboxone saved my life. This forum helps me live life with Suboxone. Thank God I found it. It is my second home & I have made many friends. I know you will too.

There are wonderful, sincere, caring people here of all ages, with different backgrounds and stories. But my motto is: We may have come over on different ships, but we're all in the same boat now.

So, please keep posting so we know how things are going. I am so sorry that you lost your sister. That must have been very difficult for you and your mom. It is so admirable to see a son that wants so much to take care of his mother that he is willing to do anything.

It seems you are serious about treatment and are doing everything to find a doctor and start Suboxone. Good for you. In my opinion, you have made the right decision. There are so many people here that can offer so much advice so please don't leave. Stay with us. You're going to make it.

Have a blessed holiday. I will pray that your problem is solved as quickly as possible so you can start the New Year with a fresh & new positive outlook on life.

I am here for you anytime

Love, Queenie


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