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PostPosted: Tue Jan 30, 2018 12:39 pm 
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Greetings friends!

I say friends because I feel as though you are all my friends already. I've been reading your posts nearly every day since Sept 2017 and can't even describe how much your stories and advice have inspired me and helped me through the process of getting on and staying on subs. Since Sept I've attempted to register a grand total of 12 times- using 5 different emails and a bundle of usernames, never to receive an activation email. Well today I decided to try yet again with little hope of a different outcome but it WORKED!! I'm doing a spastic little happy dance at my desk as I type :D I think I was able to register this time bc for the first time the forum didn't require me to use the activation email. Thank you Dr Junig for fixing the bug in the system bc I know I'm not the only one who has had difficulty registering. I think that's one reason why the forum as been so slow lately!

I'm a 33 yo female, single mother of 2 young children, living in Minneapolis. I'm an artist by trade and in general I'm an open-minded individual who thrives off being different, kooky or whatever word best describes a proud weirdo :)

I've been on subs since early Sept. I found the forum in August and it's what convinced me that I would probably not succeed in getting sober without the help of buprenorphine. You all also convinced me that my early hopes of a very quick taper would not be successful either (I thought I'd be off them in 3 months, was going to use them only to get through withdrawal). Thanks to you wonderful people I now have a completely different outlook, one that is realistic and puts my recovery before just being "clean" of all opiates!!

I started abusing opiates after a period of being prescribed pain pills for chronic back pain. My doctor yanked the pain pills and muscle relaxers away after 6 months of daily use, with no conversation about withdrawal or addiction!! So I found a person to buy them from "on the street" and spiraled quickly out of control. I was taking about 40-80 mg oxy a day for over a year, not a gigantic amount but still insanity. I NEEDED them... I loved the way they made me feel- the energy boost, relief from anxiety and depression I've had my whole life, and the social confidence they gave me. Then my "hookup" was arrested and since I knew no one else I went into full-on withdrawal. I was desperate, and an addict, so I bought some herion. I loved it of course and began the "chase" for a high I'd never get again. I snorted, never smoked or IV'd, purely bc I enjoy putting crap up my nose. After 8 months of daily use, multiple rounds of severe withdrawal when I couldn't get any, and after draining all my savings and unable to even pay my rent, I finally surrendered to the idea that I am an addict. I admitted to my oblivious family and friends what I'd been doing and asked for help.

I did research on buprenorphine and it sounded like a good way to get through the painful withdrawal. I heard and read many stories about the horrors of subs and was sure I'd only need them for a few months and then I could go on my merry way, "cured" of my addiction. Then I found this forum a few days before induction. My mind was blown by the amount of information, the kindness shown to people here, the honest advice, and the oversight by the doctors. I learned that this would be a long process which shouldn't be rushed or I'd likely fail.

I found a doctor at a sub clinic somewhat nearby who takes my insurance. Unfortunately she's AWFUL!! She took the 8 hour course to be certified and I swear since then she's done zero research on what she's prescribing to dozens of patients. I was given a wealth of misinformation from her which I'll go into at length in the "damn doctors" section. Regardless I've stuck with her for fear I won't be able to find anyone better. There aren't many places that take my state-funded insurance, and I know I could end up with an even worse clinic/doctor. I'm so incredibly fortunate that so far I only pay a $3 copay a month for my subs and nothing for the visits. I feel guilty after reading some of your experiences with paying hundreds and hundreds of dollars a month to get your life-saving medicine. My heart goes out to you and I wish I could "share" my insurance!!!

I was induced at 4 mg of suboxone strips, 6 mg the next day (terrible withdrawal the whole time), then she bumped me up to 16 mg on the 3rd or 4th day for unknown reasons... I decided not to follow her instructions, and although I know that is classic addict behavior I believe I've done the right thing. I've stayed at 6 mg since Sept and now have a stash of extras for my taper. Or if I decide I can't take her condescending uneducated baloney any longer!! She is of the belief that buprenorphine is a for-life solution ONLY and doesn't believe in tapering patients in any way. She wants me to take 16 mg a day for the rest of life. One of many reasons I don't see myself as her patient forever :? However if I end up being on it for many years I'll accept it as part of my recovery. No rush, low and slow!

So I'm 5 months in and taking 6 mg a day in the morning. It has completely stopped my cravings to get high but since I still have debilitating back pain I sometimes wish I could take something stronger than advil for it... a passing thought and one I have yet to act upon. I'm proud to say I've had zero lapses/relapses thus far!! I'm battling my insurance co to cover the surgery I need to fix the subluxated disc that's causing me so much pain. Living this way is a hell I can't stand much longer, I want my life back! My kids, my fur babies, my small but wonderful family, and this forum have kept me going. I'm planning to start VERY slowly tapering at the 6 month mark with hopes to be finished with subs in 1 1/2- 2 years.

Since I induced in Sept I've visited this forum almost daily, reading your stories, getting advice by searching other users' questions, and generally getting support that I'm not alone in this. That I'm not crazy or damaged beyond repair which is the message I get from my doctor and society at large. Thank you all for your presence. I honestly don't know where I'd be without you. I'm really looking forward to being able to join in the discussions at long last!! Best wishes for a wonderful day to you all!

-tides :D


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PostPosted: Tue Jan 30, 2018 7:16 pm 
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Hi tides, and congrats on finally being able to join the forum. We didn't know there was any problems until recently. That must have been frustrating to not be able to join a group you know you should belong to.

It sounds like you're on a good steady dose w/no cravings. My suggestion is to just stay the course and see how it goes in the next few months. We all decide what works best for recovery. My story is all up and down with dosages but now I'm stable and will stay that way.

Sorry to hear of the back pain. Did opiates even help with that? Years ago I had a disk bulge and they gave me Norcos. I loved the feeling it gave me but it did nothing to ease the pain of my sciatica. Only time and physical therapy helped with that. My job was doing it so I got a different one that didn't involve lifting. It took about 3 years for my back to calm down. It's still acts up but not like before.

Welcome here and I hope you continue to get a lot out of the forum.

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PostPosted: Wed Jan 31, 2018 10:09 am 
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Hey tidesturned! Thank goodness u were persistent enough to finally join the forum successfully. That's awesome!

The first thing I wanted to mention was to just take ur time on when u start ur taper. If ur still having passing thoughts on using occasionally, don't rush urself just because society thinks there's a time limit on this medication. Every addict is different and some of us choose to take this medication longer term than others but at the end of the day, we're all different on what's best. I wouldn't even necessarily set a date, I would listen to my mind and body to tell u when ur ready.

Another thing is ur doctor. There's a lot of great great doctors out there but there's also a lot of not so great or not so compassionate doctors out there too. I think u did the right thing by sticking with this doctor for now until u can find another one that can suit u best. The first priority was getting urself into this treatment, finding a doctor can take some time, at least for now u have one. And the insurance...... girl that $3 thing is a dream come true lol! My dream :)

I hope ur doing some recovery work, like some type of meetings or seeing an addiction counselor is extremely helpful. That'll help u deal with everything plus it may help u deal with ur frustration with ur back pain (sorry to hear about ur pain issues). I know that's difficult especially when u have kids to take care of.

So glad ur here tides!

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PostPosted: Wed Jan 31, 2018 4:49 pm 
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Jennifer covered everything that I would say to you, but then, she is a smart lady!

I just want to add my greetings and say that I'm happy you're here! I, myself, have been called a weirdo and a nerd and I embrace both things! I always have told my son that everyone is weird in their own particular way. (He is 19 and in college now). And he identifies as a nerd and belongs to a group who call themselves "Nerdfighters". This is a quote by John Green, who started Nerdfighters along with his brother, Hank:

“…because nerds like us are allowed to be unironically enthusiastic about stuff… Nerds are allowed to love stuff, like jump-up-and-down-in-the-chair-can’t-control-yourself love it. Hank, when people call people nerds, mostly what they’re saying is ‘you like stuff.’ Which is just not a good insult at all. Like, ‘you are too enthusiastic about the miracle of human consciousness’.”

I think my boy is pretty smart and I love that he embraces nerdy stuff. And that includes academics. So if we are weirdos, if we are kooky, then I suggest that we celebrate it!

Amy

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PostPosted: Thu Feb 01, 2018 11:22 am 
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Welcome! And my apologies. I agree that the problem with registering slowed things down around here, and it is nice to see things bounce back over the past week or so.

I might be overstating things, but I see a battle out there over the use of buprenorphine/Suboxone. Many doctors still haven't taken the time to learn about the medication, even as more and more people die from overdose. One goal here is to cut through the nonsense people hear from those who don't follow official treatment guidelines. Those guidelines recognize the value of medication-assisted treatments, and recommend greater use of buprenorphine and methadone.

Thanks for persisting!


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PostPosted: Thu Feb 01, 2018 1:47 pm 
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There's actually a general practitioner that's just starting to see suboxone patients. He saw his first patient about a month ago and he literally turned his first patient away for NOT having a CLEAN drug screen! I assume most if not all of us are expected to have opiates in our system and if we didn't it would actually be suspicious.

So this patient was called over by our nurse and got in to see my doctor. I really have to shake my head sometimes. Then again, it was his first patient so who knows. Even though the guy (patient) had done what he was supposed to so regardless the reason, if he hadn't gotten in to see my doctor, he'd probably used that night.

Thank u Amy! Ur way smarter than me :)

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PostPosted: Thu Feb 01, 2018 1:56 pm 
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I have given this forum address to my Suboxone doctor several times and he still hasn't found the time to check it out. He just gets most of his information from me! I wouldn't give him my user name anyway. Too personal.

A nice surprise today with the forum. The pages are loading faster than before. Thanks Dr. Junig for working on it!

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

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