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 Post subject: I need some help
PostPosted: Wed Feb 14, 2018 4:23 am 
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Hello, I just want to start by saying, this is the first time I have ever posted on ANYTHING, I don't even post on Facebook lol. I do like to look at forums like this for answers and to remind myself that I'm not alone. I just never join or post because I'm scared of what responses I will get. I literally have no support system in my life. Not family, not friends, not the judgmental doctors who see people like me as dollar signs instead of people and not even the therapists who get paid good money just to not do a very good job pretending that they care about you. And I truly believe that if I had therapist who knew I footing the bill instead of Medicaid, there acting skills would drastically improve.
Anyway, here goes....
I have been on Suboxone for 6 years now. I had a hard time at first despite all my good intentions. I got clean because I DECIDED to. I finally had enough with that despicable lifestyle,all the physical suffering, heartache , self-loathing and i WANTED to make it better. Not because a parent or a spouse or a court room judge is forcing me to. Don't get me wrong, no judgement on people who started there recovery for any of this reasons. It's just that I never had anyone in my life who cared about me enough to worried about my well-being. Sorry I'm not trying to turn this post into a therapy session and itself... I'll try to sum it up the best I can.
So the initial problem that I need some help / advice on is:
The first doctor I ever went to see was the doctor who also had been prescribing me the obscene amount of pain pills that I had been addicted to for so many years and told him to take me off of it because I was no longer just taking the pills he was prescribing. In the span of about 4 or 5 years I had gone from "taking as prescribed" to eating them like candy. When I got introduced to the small high dosage oxycontin's with no Tylenol in them I graduated to snorting. Then from there it didn't take long to spiral out of control and at that point I had felt bad enough about myself to admit all of this to my doctor and ask him to cut me off. But the problem is that the day I started my habit I had never missed a beat in all that time so I had no idea what withdrawals was going to feel like. I found out really quick though because after telling him all of that he cut me off for sure just like I wanted. He suggested methadone to me and I said no thanks, that would defeat the whole purpose of getting off the pills duh lol. I had never taken methadone before (at that point) but I knew other people that were on it and they were all zombie, methadone slaves whose you can call me lives revolved completely around getting to that clinic every day and usually still did drugs on top of it every chance they got. So I didn't see the point in that I thought it would make my life worse and I didn't want any parts of any of it anymore. I guess I knew there would be withdrawals of some sort but I was young and stupid and I thought that the real dope sick, Trainspotting-like, hellish withdrawals were specifically for people who used needles.
So I found out the hard way about how wrong that theory was about a day and a half later LOL and I went straight back to that same doctor. I was still determined not to get myself on methadone so I asked him if there was anything else he could do or mabey get my pain pills back, or Xanax so I could sleep through the ordeal, but unfortunately I had already stuck my foot in my mouth.
So he then suggested Suboxone which was something I had never heard of at the time. And the way he explained it to me it sounded like some miracle pill that I could take and it would get me through my withdrawal symptoms, won't turn me into a drooling zombie, and then I could could just stop taking them like it was nothing. And I'm thinking to myself "why the hell didn't you tell me about this in the first place, it sounds too good to be true, that's perfect!"
So this doctor who was not a suboxone specialist but a family physician who I had been seeing covered under my insurance gave me a prescription for three 8 mg strips (actually they were pills back then) a day WITH 2 refills right off the bat! He didn't even test me.
So I just took the medicine as prescribed and since I only had to go to the doctor's office every 3 months, it had already been 6 months before I asked him about when would be a good time to start get off of this. When he gave me the prescription he made it sound like it was just something that I took to mask the withdrawal symptoms from the opiates so I figured it would be safe to stop taking it after a couple of weeks or so, but then he explained the Blocker in the Suboxone and told me I shouldn't just jump right back off of the Suboxone because I will probably relapse and it would be safer to keep taking the Suboxone for a while because of the Blocker in it would stop me from any cravings and basically help me through my mental Battle as well as withdrawals.
So I stayed in my ignorant Bliss for almost two years before one random day when I came in for my appointment and was told that I have to find a new doctor because he had gotten himself into some kind of trouble for prescribing Suboxone to people because he wasn't authorized or some sort of BS and all the patients that he was prescribing Suboxone too had to find other doctors.
Luckily it didn't take me very long to find another doctor and I was able to stock up a little bit from those scripts so I made it to see a specialist without relapsing.
I feel like because of this my relationship with her started off good and my appointments always went smoothly. I never failed a drug screen and I paid in cash. So I started off seeing this doctor once a month and I was never in her office for more than 10 or 15 minutes. Walk in, hand her a pile of money , she would hand me a cup and then have my prescription written and an appointment scheduled on the card she's handing on the way out the door.
It was like that for more than 3 years and since I didn't have any other experiences to compare to I didn't realize how easy I had it.
Here is where my trouble really begins...
All of a sudden I get a letter in the mail from my insurance companies saying that they will no longer cover medications at any pharmacy from an out-of-pocket doctor. Effective immediately.
I called the insurance company to plead with them because this had to be some sort of mistake! After so many years of doing so well how could they just cut me off with no word of warning or an explanation as to why other than they're just making changes to their policies. They gave me a list of numbers to over 20 doctors that they would approve of, even though over half of the numbers I called no longer participates with my insurance. Out of all of those doctors only one of them had an opening for me and it took me 3 months to get it. And it's an hour and half away from me. I don't drive so I have to use Uber or Lyft.
Like I mentioned before, I have no one. Not a parent, a friend, a boyfriend, no one. I had a therapist that I liked, but my insurance says I can't see her anymore, I have to see someone at the new place.
For three months, I did everything I could to stay clean. I found some Suboxon on the street, I stretched it out by cutting into little peices witch pretty much just the edge of the mysery since I was used to three a day. My father died and I finally relapse. Not with herion though. I'm proud to say that I have not touched an opiate in years... But I wanted to so bad that broke down and did my other favorite "blast" from the past. (Get it?) Because it was a good way to get my mind off of dope, and everything else for that matter. But I should have known how that would pan out... Now I'm fighting the urges for dope by smoking crack. I went on a few benges, all the while thinking to myself "at least im not shooting it and at least it's not dope" and if I just made it to that intake appointment, I'll be fine....
Wrong again... I finally go to the intake appointment, and that's all it was, questions. I didn't even get to see the doctor. They made me come back a week later to see the "doctor" and when I come back, it's still not the Suboxon doctor, it's my new therapist. I had to be evaluated then they sent me and said that they would call me and to schedule an appointment IF I'm approved!!!? WHAT!? I had already spent a month talking to these people so they know my story and I even verified it for them by getting my last two Doctors to fax them my info. So they have a whole file of proof that for 6 years I have done what I was supposed to be doing,I have never had a positive drug test, I have never failed the Suboxon screen, I have never tried to fill a prescription early, I have never been red flagged for anything.
So the intake lady told me they were a sort of new program so they have to start everyone out the same. She said she was sure that in my case, they would make me come in once week a week every week for a month, and then I could start coming once a month. Ok that's fair. So I'm finally at ease for a minute.
So I see the actual doctor finally and we start the never ending questioning about things I have never been asked by a Suboxone Dr before and it makes me nervous. I want to stick to the subject of addiction here, and I will talk to my other doctors about my brain injury and my neurological problems. I'm not taking any other medications, so I didn't see why it was his business. He then told me more about this facility and how big it was and how many different kind of doctors were there and I could basically just stopped going here and there and everywhere and just kind of take care of all of my business there like a one-stop-shop. That idea kinda sounded great to me! So then I'm feeling more comfortable answering all of his questions because I'm assuming that all of these doctors are going to communicate with each other and I am FINALLY going to get the help I need.
I answered questions about my family and my health, the accident that gave me brain damage, my short term memory loss because of it,my panic and anxiety disorder, bipolar and manic depression.... Even though those are the kind of things I thought I should just be talking about in therapy. I even got so comfortable talking with him that I offered out the information about the cocaine usage in the three months between doctors appointments just so he would know beforehand in case I failed my drug test. Boy I shouldn't have done that because when I took my drug test I passed it but because I had told him about my relapse he said I was going to have to start the program a little more intensely then I was previously told. So for the next 3 months, I had to come once a week for him and then come once a week for my therapist and they wouldn't even let me schedule those two appointments on the same day to make it easier on me since I live an hour and a half away, on top of having to go in just to give blood or give samples on a separate day.
I guess I was okay with it at first because I was thinking that's what I get for telling them about the extracurricular drug use when I didn't even fail my test for it... But after 3 months of total cooperation in passing every test and not touching anything else since I started going there, I ask the doctor about being able to slim down these appointments because right now I only work 4 days a week and mostly on the weekend days at Pizza Hut but I am trying to get a second job and I won't be able to do it with all of these appointments consuming my life.
Then all of a sudden, he brings me into the office with my test results from that day and tells me that I have failed for cocaine and marijuana and asks me what I have to say for myself. I got so upset because I was sure i hadn't done anything but tests don't lie so obviously I had relapsed and then forgotten about it because I have brain damage and I forget about things all the time like whole situations, conversations, people, and sometimes whole days.
So then I had to give blood samples so they could test further in detail since I couldn't remember what I had done. And I had to live with that confusion for about 2 weeks when I went in for one of my appointments and the doctor's nurse said oh and by the way good news we we sent your sample off to LabCorp and it was a mistake you were negative for everything and just positive for suboxone so I thought I would let you know because she knew I was upset about it... But when I asked the doctor how in the hell they could make a mistake like that, I got no answer. So I asked him again about bringing these appointments down to a monthly basis because that would still be twice a month I would have to go to see both doctors and he said we'll see. If these tests stay positive then we'll talk about it. Then the next time I go in for a test he takes me in the back room and says that the temperature won't register and he suspect tampering so he's going to get me to pee again and this time one of his nurses will have to watch me. So I had to sit in the waiting room and drink water and wait to pee again and when I did the only thing I could make in the cup was this little trickle that accumulated to about a quarter of an inch and they said that was fine!? It wasn't even enough urine to hit the temperature gauge so.... I'm confused. Then when we're back in the office he tells me that even though I didn't fail the test he didn't feel right about the suspicious hiccup with the temperature gauge so we might have to intensify your treatment and suggest that I have to come back separately to give blood samples on top of everything else and he wanted to start right then and there.
At that point I started to have a panicky feeling like everyone in that damn building was conspiring against me. I was confused my heart was racing and something in me finally snapped.
I told him I didn't understand what was going on , that I hadn't done anything wrong, I have cooperated with everything I have made it to every one of these ridiculous appointments with the impression that you're going to tell me I can start coming once a month every time I come in, but instead , it goes from easy going to someone watching me pee on the toilet, adding unnecessary appointments to give you my blood every week on top of it. I don't understand how you could be suspicious of anything when someone's watching me P to know that it's authentic weather the temperature gauge is working on the cup or not, I've given my blood to test my levels despite handing them my empty Suboxone wrappers every time I go in and I've never been one short and even after passing the blood test I get told that I have to do that every week on top of everything else too!?
This is where I want to draw the line! I don't feel like I deserve to be treated this way! I'm not on probation and these doctors are not police officers. I'm they're seeking help of my own free will to stay clean like I have been for the past 6 years and this nightmare doctor's office is my last Hope! If this doctor doesn't work out then I have no other options. Other than finding them on the street and hoping I can afford to keep up that way but I have this sinking feeling that if I have to resort to doing that then I'm just going to end up buying anything I can get my hands on tonight be sick and I have come so far and work so hard to get where I am now and I don't want to lose it all and I don't know what to do!
I know that I have some serious mental instabilities but in this particular situation am I being crazy or over paranoid? I feel like this is some money making factory and they don't care about my sobriety or my recovery they just want me there as often as they can and they want me to keep taking their test because even though my insurance covers the actual doctor's visit, I get a bill for every test they give me!!! I feel like the blood tests are completely unnecessary and they are inaccurate. Not only that but I had asked him on a personal level if we could not do that particular test every week because it was that needle in my arm I was addicted to more than anything. I understand that I wouldn't have the right to argue if I was constantly failing drug test but since I have been doing everything correctly for so long I felt like it wasn't a ridiculous or shady or unbelievable for me to ask him to not make me stick a needle in my arm every week because if he was worried about my recovery you would understand that eventually I'm going to start thinking that I wish that needle was pushing instead of pulling, you know what I mean?

Now I feel kind of stupid because I just realized how long this "post" has become. I guess I didn't do a very good job of summing it up....

If anyone out there has managed to power through this, I'm open to any kind of advice or suggestions.

P.S. I just want to add that since this is my very first post on this form or any other social media, I don't know if there is anything I said that I wasn't supposed to say or phrase something less PC than it should be... I'm very ignorant to all of this and I'm acting out in desperation for support from someone.... Anyone.
So please don't respond to this with anything mean.


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 Post subject: Re: I need some help
PostPosted: Wed Feb 14, 2018 3:08 pm 
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I want to get back with you quickly and let you know that no one is going to say mean things to you. You are welcome here and we want to support you.

Because your post is so long, (and I did read the entire thing) I want to take my time responding to you, and right now I don't have a long time to write a response.

You haven't said anything "wrong". The only thing we ask people to stay away from here is personal attacks and saying negative things about buprenorphine that aren't scientifically proven. We are a pro-buprenorphine forum. That doesn't mean that people on buprenorphine don't have problems though, and we are here to help.

I will post more specifically later when I have more time.

Amy

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 Post subject: Re: I need some help
PostPosted: Wed Feb 14, 2018 3:24 pm 
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Hey ChunkTats! Wooooooo that was a long one! I hung in there though and read the entire post :)

Firstly, ur current doctor or clinic sounds like the biggest morons! They sound unorganized, they sound like they're already looking at ppl to fail with zero encouragement to do better. The intimidation they seem to put out is flat out ridiculous! I'd keep going ONLY until I found something else. I know insurance makes it more difficult but keep searching until u find somewhere different. Go bk and call those on the list ur insurance gave u before. Get on a waiting list even if it's a 9 month waiting list. Have or make some kind of exit strategy to get away from that hell hole ur at right now. There has to be something better. U have every right to feel annoyed and angry like u do.

My clinic is strict but there's always a goal for newcomers to work towards. Once a week appointments turn into bi weekly after 3 months then monthly after 3 months (as long as u don't fail any screens and attend counseling). We have in house counseling, case workers, lab and a 2 doctors and nurse practitioner. My doctor is a psychiatrist. Sometimes I feel like my clinic is unorganized with waiting forever on the days I see my doctor, it definitely isn't perfect but it is fair and u always have a goal to look forward to.

I'm so glad u joined the forum and I hope u stick around. Maybe meetings of some kind would help u in the support area too? There's all kinds of meetings for recovery these days.

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 Post subject: Re: I need some help
PostPosted: Thu Feb 15, 2018 9:04 pm 
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Thank you so much responding. I know it was a long one...when I went back and looked at I amazed myself lol but I was in total manic mode. All these offices seem to be pretty much the same with schedule. One a week to biweekly to monthly. But this Dr seems to be set on doubling my time, the tests and intensifying my monitoring while using the faulty test as the reason. It doesn't make since. It was proven by LabCorp that they made a mistake. It was clean. I just got told i can't start a job that already hired me because they can't work around all these new appointments.
I have been looking for other options non stop for the past few days. I called EVERY number on that list and they were all no-gos. Half of them weren't even Suboxon doctors and alot were hours away and only took people from there district. Oh and 6 of them have never taken my insurance...so where the hell did my insurance company get all of these numbers!?
The good news is after a long grueling search of my own, I found a place that fits. Husband/wife owned, very personable, and say they have personal experience with addiction, thus making a personal goal to help others. My only worry worry is that it's too good to be true lol. I just hope I can make it through until the intake.


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 Post subject: Re: I need some help
PostPosted: Thu Feb 15, 2018 9:12 pm 
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Also, I wanted to ask... Is it normal for a Dr to want blood from you every time you come in? That wasn't part of the deal to begin with and he wants to start doing blood on top of strip counts and urine. I told him I wasn't comfortable with that because the whole point in my recovery was to stay way from jamming needles in my arm.
They already did blood at intake, and I haven't failed any if the other tests so why would he need to do that?


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 Post subject: Re: I need some help
PostPosted: Fri Feb 16, 2018 11:51 am 
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I was only teasing about the long post, no biggie at all!

Well the taking blood that much isn't normal that I know of. I had my blood taken at my very first appointment and never again, that's been 6 years ago. I always think my clinic takes a lot of urine screens but that's the extent of screening. I wouldn't like that either, I don't see the reasoning for that. Maybe Dr. Junig or docm2 can weigh in on why this doctor feels the need to take blood so much. I'm just throwing out there, maybe it's because this doctor has so little trust in the patients...... and I'm sorry but at some point u have to listen and believe in ur patients, especially those that have passed all their screens and the only time they didn't was someone else's fault.

I'm so happy to hear u found a new place!! That's fantastic. So how are u going about it? Are u gonna tell the other doctor first that ur leaving? Or are u going to see how ur first appointment goes first before letting go of the current doctor? Trust me, I know u want out of there and I don't blame u, but I'd personally make sure this other place was going to work out before u cut ties with ur current one. I don't even know how switching works without interrupting ur medicine but I know ppl obviously do it all the time. I do think, any place is probably better than where u are at right now though because ur current doctor just seems so untrusting.

Good luck and please keep us posted on how ur new doctor works out.

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