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PostPosted: Thu Sep 09, 2010 4:29 pm 
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If anyone has been following some of my threads you will know that my husband finally admitted his addiction to his doc two weeks ago. This dr has had him on heavy heavy narcotics for two years and even before that he was getting them from other docs. He had a botched back surgery in 05. He has daily chronic pain. So, his doc that was medicating him with the narcotics also happens to be a sub doc.
He started him on sub. He said he could take 1 or 2 pills a day and then call him and let him know how he is doing. He even gave him the meds so he didn't have to buy them. My husband calls yesterday for a refill and the doc tells the nurse to tell him "we won't refill them at this time" . My husband will run out at this point before his next scheduled appt for tues. So I try to call back for him. They are closed. I call this morning and say I'm confused as to why they won't refill them if he has an appt scheduled, he just needs about 5 to get him through till then. The nurse tells me the dr wants him to stop taking it. It's not something he can be on forever. I'm like, he has only been on it two weeks! And ask for her to tell the doc I'm really confused and he can't just stop taking them. He has been on narcotics for 5 years and only on sub for two weeks. He hasn't tapered he is gonna withdrawal and go right back on narcotics. She says she will call me back.
So, my husband was really upset, he calls and gets the same shit from her. So, he is livid and in tears. He finally admits his addiction and his dr wants to screw with him. So, they set him up an appt for 11:30 this morning so he can talk to the doc and find out what is up.
This Doctor mentioned to him in July (when my husband was on Methadone, prescribed month after month from that doc) that he should consider going on sub for pain management. And then when my husband admitted his addiction and got sub from him two weeks ago, the doc never said anything about him tapering off quickly.
So, we go to his appt. the doc says, I'm only giving you 30 more tabs and then you need to be off. My husband asks about his pain and the doc says it's all in his head. He was being such a jerk. And then he started saying my sub doc is an idiot and bad dr since I have been on for 1.5 yrs. and I'm doing it all wrong and I'll never be able to get off, blah , blah blah.
I just don't understand. This doctor will month after month write for methadone, along with tramadol or vicodin or whatever my husband needed , but he won't keep him on a drug that will save his life? AND WE DONT HAVE INSURANCE!
Im just so upset right now. Id on't know what to do. Imagine how my husband feels. Now we have to try to find him a new doc I guess.
Im just so confused. Sorry if this is hard to read. I'm just in no mood to fix the typing errors.

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PostPosted: Thu Sep 09, 2010 5:38 pm 
Wow! No wonder you're upset! It sounds like the doctor did a complete 180 since he saw your husband a couple of weeks ago! What a nut! At first it sounded like he was totally on board with understanding your husband's situation and wanting to help him....now this! Makes no sense. I can't imagine what your husband is feeling. Probably feeling totally screwed. He's admitted to the doctor that has kept him on pain meds all these years, that he's an addict and asked for help, thought he got that help and now is left hanging. He won't be able to go back to pain pills from this doctor and it sounds like this doctor has now categorized him as an addict and is going to treat him altogether differently than he did before. But why was he so kind before? It just doesn't make sense. And he explained none of this rapid taper business when he first started him on the Suboxone? Unbelievable.
You guys don't have many options at this point. I suppose it's either try and get your husband in to your doctor or another Sub doctor for maintenance which I understand (from my own personal experience) is quite expensive when there is no insurance coverage for any of it. Or it's try the rapid taper off bupe and see how he does. Of course there are obvious flaws in that plan.......your husband already has chronic pain and coming off years of opiates, even with a short Sub taper, his pain will most likely be hugely magnified because of that phenomenon of 'rebound'-type pain (I can't remember exactly what it's called, but it's when you get off opiates the nervous system is so aggravated that we feel much more pain to stimuli that a 'normal' person would.) So then the problem is still there of what to do about his pain. There's a chance that if he could make it off opiates for long enough his pain MIGHT subside a bit. However, back pain from failed back surgeries is usually pretty intractable. I watch my mother live with it every day. So, that would leave him back on opiate pain medication more than likely.
I have to think that if the Sub was managing his pain pretty well.....that would be the best way to go.....stay on it long term. If there's any way you can make it happen. I'm sorry for what you're going through. It isn't right. Things like this are what make me wish I were rich! It's outrageous that people who are trying to do the right thing can't always do it, for financial reasons. I wish I had something else for you, but you have my sympathy and support.


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PostPosted: Thu Sep 09, 2010 5:51 pm 
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Thank you SMF. I'm also trying to make him realize that he can't take forever deciding what he wants to do. If he want to stay on sub(which is really his only option as far as I'm concerned) he has to make appts now! It's gonna take awhile to get in anywhere. Of course, him making his own appts for anything is unheard of, so i should just make one now anyway.

And yeah, I was there at his appt when he got the sub. He mentioned nothing of tapering him after two weeks, or stopping him. He acted like it was common knowledge today and we were stupid for not knowing. Then he started in on asking what narcotics I take, and I said I was on sub too, and have been for almost a year and half and then he started treating me even worse.

I don't get it.

Honestly, I think he got in trouble with the DEA for being so loose with writing the narcotic scripts for people. He has always been a really nice, generous dr. That's why Im so damn confused.

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PostPosted: Thu Sep 09, 2010 7:59 pm 
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Doesn't this totally connect to the point ReRaise was making the other day in that doctors are judgmental of addicts (much of the time) and you just can't count on what reaction you will receive even when being honest. So there is reason to be concerned about disclosure because this is what can happen.

This just sucks. I wonder if he isn't just afraid of sub because he doesn't know enough about it and just thinks that it is one of those things you give to patients who got addicted to all those pain pills you prescribed and then you throw some sub at them and tell them to go away so you don't have to be a target for the DEA. I mean....it isn't that I don't understand their position but if they are afraid, they can always refer the person to someone who isn't afraid to prescribe the sub so the patient won't have a gap in care. They can always be open and forthright in the beginning so the person knows and help them make decisions for their HEALTH!!! Whatever health issue that may be. Isn't the first goal not to cause harm? So throwing a bottle of subs at someone and cutting them off without warning and expecting them to understand tapering on their own is supposed to be causing "no harm"?

Sorry. I am sure I will now be accused of being a medical professional basher. Although I don't care. I think this is bullshit. I am REALLY REALLY sorry. When are you two going to be cut some slack? When will you get a break?

Hopefully you can find him an appointment and help him with this. I hope he can find someone. GEEEEEEZ!

Cherie

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PostPosted: Thu Sep 09, 2010 8:08 pm 
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Thanks Cherie. Me too. This is just another huge bump in this rd for us. Another flat tire on the rd of our life. LOL, that was lame. lol
Anyway, yeah. idk, I just can't believe it. I wish I could climb inside his head and know what the hell is going on. You don't just prescribe someone two weeks of sub and then say, that's it! you are done. Oh and he said today "You won't need to taper off, you will be fine" after he told the nurse to say that my husband should have already been tapering on his own.

Just another shit head dr. And I thought my dr was strict cause he won't let me miss an appt. Hell no, my dr is a saint compared to this guy. I really think something happened with him and the DEA. He was always telling my husband at his pain visits when he was on Methadone about how the DEA always audits his charts
Is that normal?
I worked in family practice for 4 years and don't remember the DEA auditing the docs charts.

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PostPosted: Thu Sep 09, 2010 8:22 pm 
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I am so sorry, Laura. I know how much him being on suboxone meant to him, you, and your marriage. This doctor shouldn't be allowed to prescribe bupe any longer - he obviously knows dick about it.

Are you going to contact your doctor? Maybe knowing you and how you used to be on the patient assistance program he'll get your husband in under the same program. It's worth a shot anyway.

I'm really sorry you both are going through this. Hang in there! We're here for you.

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PostPosted: Thu Sep 09, 2010 9:50 pm 
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Damn Hat ,I had a while post typed up for you but it got eaten for some reason. Thank you so much for your support.

And if anyone is reading this and from SE PA, don't see the doc I listed in that section. It starts with a G! The other one is great though! (and starts with a B)

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PostPosted: Thu Sep 09, 2010 10:45 pm 
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RTL I'm so sorry what you and your husband are going through. What he did is down right cruel and I'm always the first one to defend doctors. Seems like he is just washing his hands of your husband, I don't get it. Maybe he is getting some attention from the DEA as someone else has already stated but come on now, that is border line reckless. Seems like he is covering his own ass for some reason and wants nothing to do with your husband anymore; but why? Why the flip flop in attitude? Sad thing is you will probably never know why he's doing this. I know it's easier said than done but you've got to try not to stress too much about the situation. Don't waste too much emotional energy on how your husband was definately wronged and focus on a solution, a new doctor or clinic or something. Have faith, things like this will usually work out in the long run, it just means doing some leg work. Take care and good luck with everything.

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PostPosted: Thu Sep 09, 2010 11:15 pm 
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I'm sorry for the bull shit your going threw best of luck to you guys

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PostPosted: Fri Sep 10, 2010 12:20 am 
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I don't know what kind of doctor this is exactly but if he prescribed your husband this high a volume of painkillers (yet thinks the pain is all in his head?!? WTF?) then probably he has attracted the attention of the DEA by now. My old sub doc (total nut case) would talk about the DEA all the time and who was getting busted etc. He was also very sensitive to pill counts, UA's, no missed appointments, etc. etc. etc. For them it is all about making sure the records look correct. They want to show they are doing everything properly and to the best of their ability to monitor it.

I wonder if it didn't bother him to prescribe the painkillers because back pain is difficult to "prove" anyways and easy for a doctor to substantiate in a chart note. I mean, they can put down decreased range of motion in a chart note or positive straight leg raise even when they know the patient is aware of how to fake those tests and they can conclude that the patient has "radiculopathy" when in fact they may not even really have it. The DEA can't really do anything about it because opiates would be a proper and accepted form of treatment for radiculopathy or back pain. BUT.....once your husband says that he has gotten addicted....NOW the record isn't so clean. NOW he can no longer claim any of those subjective findings (which can actually be indicative of real problems) are the result of objective findings. Now the DEA would question it so probably he would like to get your husband off the books as an active patient because they are likely to inspect THAT file and what they will find they may not like. So he is covering his own ass at the expense of the patient and doesn't care because in his mind these "addicts" are putting him at risk. If he took responsibility for HIS role in this process things might be different but he is probably the arrogant prick he sounds to be in the first place.

This is all speculation and simply a possible theory so don't anyone get on my ass for bashing doctors and blah blah blah. Personally.....I don't trust most doctors but that is what you get when you work in the industry I do and see all the shady crap that goes on.

Cherie

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PostPosted: Fri Sep 10, 2010 12:37 am 
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Jackcrack, that seems to be a very likely theory. Makes you wonder.

That's twice you wrote don't come down on me for bashing doctors. RTL's current situation is nothing like last weeks thread. Her and her husband were treated awful by that doctor, they aren't trying to blame a doc for their own mistakes. It's apples and oranges.

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PostPosted: Fri Sep 10, 2010 7:31 am 
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I'm not concerned about you bashing me. I think I read that thread you are referencing and it is apples and oranges. But that was not on my mind when I wrote that. It's other people I am concerned about and just want to be able to post my opinion without having to engage in a discussion about how I don't like medical professionals.

Just as a note......I like medical professionals who deserve to be liked. My sub doc for example is not only an amazing medical practitioner but also an amazing person in general. I have tremendous respect for her. But she DESERVES that respect. She EARNED my trust. I will not go on about this. If I recall the thread correctly it was the one you and ReRaise were on. I agreed with most of what you said AND agreed with ReRaise (I love Jim and know the history there) and never commented in it because it was old by the time I read it and no one needed my commentary. Is that the one you are referencing or am I getting that one confused with something else? Anyway....not you I am worried about.

Cherie

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PostPosted: Fri Sep 10, 2010 4:29 pm 
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I admit, I thought you were mentioning that because of the argument reraise and I had last week about doctors and such. You see, sometimes with an ego as big as mine, I think everyone is talking and thinking about me. Ever hear that joke "I don't go to football games anymore because when they are in the huddle, I know they are talking about me". My bad, the last thing I want to do is highjack another thread or stir up some shit.

Back to RTL... Every once in a while I will read a post and it sticks with me all day. Today at work I couldn't help thinking of you and your husband's current situation. I was wondering if any progress was made finding a new doctor or if you ever spoke with the original doctor and got a better explanation of why he's treating your husband that way. Please keep us updated as I am very concerned about you guys. Again, best of luck.

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