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 Post subject: new developments
PostPosted: Thu May 05, 2016 9:57 am 
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Good morning friends, I hope this message finds everyone well. I am starting my 6th day on Suboxone and I just can't believe I'm starting my 6th day of not chasing a high!!! It's amazing!
I wanted to share my experience as a RN; because the issue of taking Suboxone daily, and being active in patient care is a tricky subject. My employer was not aware of my addiction, in fact, at the height of my addiction, I decided to go to PRN status and was working one or two 12 hour shifts a month. I hadn't yet crossed the line of being under the influence while working and going from full time to PRN made that possible. However, it made for HORRIBLE days at work, in the beginning stages of withdrawal, TONS of anxiety, and me begging my husband the day before my monthly shift to give me the okay on quitting my job.
I knew it would not be right to be taking Suboxone daily and not let my employer know so last Monday I called my manager and told her my situation. She and I both searched the next two days for any information concerning active patient care while on prescribed Suboxone. Finally yesterday she let me know that the powers that be of my facility decided it would be in both of our best interests for me to self report myself to the Board of Nursing (GULP...) and defer to what they say. With hands trembling, and heart feeling like it was going to explode out of my chest, I dialed their number and chose the extension of an investigator. I once again explained my situation, and this is what she said; She is going to send me the paperwork to self report as all reports must be made in writing. As for the rules on patient care, she said there are no specific rules on what I can or cannot take while in active patient care as long as it's prescribed. She said that if someone felt that I was impaired that they could report me to the board and then I would need to bring all of my documentation and prescriptions to the board to be reviewed. Obviously if someone felt I was impaired they should send me for a drug test and I could provide documentation to them and the board and perhaps a statement from my doctor.
So I relayed this information to my boss and told her that they also said it's up to what my employer's policies state. At that point I told my boss, if they'd rather not deal with this that I understood, and I would put in my notice, and not make a fuss about leaving. She said they wanted me to stay and they wanted to support me in my recovery. I feel SO MUCH RELIEF. I don't want to say what state I'm from (yet) but will say I am from a conservative southern state. I hope this information will help someone else particularly those in patient care decide to be honest with their employer. I'm just so tired of all the secrets, I feel like keeping up with secrets adds so much anxiety, not only to me, but my husband. That's a story for another time but all of that to say, today I am so grateful!!!!


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 Post subject: Re: new developments
PostPosted: Thu May 05, 2016 10:30 am 
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Hey praying awesome news!

I live in Tennessee so I can imagine what ur talking about a conservative southern state. My sister-in-law is a RN too but not an addict. I think what u did was very brave. I'm not sure I would have done what u did out of fear. I'm glad u didn't get the stigma that a lot of ppl on suboxone get in their work place.

Thank u for telling us ur journey.

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 Post subject: Re: new developments
PostPosted: Thu May 05, 2016 1:45 pm 
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My boss just called me and stated that HR wants me to come speak with them and submit for drug testing. Will be doing so at 9am tomorrow. They won't get the result back until later next week so I have been cancelled this Saturday which is a total bummer. :-(


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 Post subject: Re: new developments
PostPosted: Thu May 05, 2016 2:48 pm 
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I hope your honesty is rewarded instead of being punished! I had nannied part time for a baby for a year and a half. The mom and I got close, so when she asked what I was going into grad school, I told her and I told her my history. That was a Friday. I received a call on Sunday to let me know that I was fired. I felt like a leper. I didn't really need the job, but it hurt when they wouldn't let me say goodbye to Devin.

Amy

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 Post subject: Re: new developments
PostPosted: Thu May 05, 2016 3:16 pm 
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Wow Amy, I'm so very sorry. I'm sure that cut deep. Sadly, I was once that mom, not very tolerant, no sympathy and judgemental, in particular to addicted family members. And then I became a drug addict myself! I was just telling my psychiatrist not too long ago, I am the world's biggest hypocrite. She told me that maybe God allowed me to go down this road to teach me empathy. Therefore on behalf of all the of the crappy people out there who wrote you off because they just didn't get it, I'm sending you a big online ((((HUG)))))


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 Post subject: Re: new developments
PostPosted: Thu May 05, 2016 6:04 pm 
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Thank you so much! They're not bad people though. And I sent them an email about a week later asking for them to do a better job the next time they have dealings with a recovering addict. They need to get past their ignorance.

Amy

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 Post subject: Re: new developments
PostPosted: Fri May 06, 2016 7:40 pm 
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Wow Praying I so wish you would have posted here before you did all this. As an aside, after reading about halfway through it dawned on me that perhaps this was a way out? A way of quiting without having to quit? That's only a guess and really not the reason for my post.

I'm responding not only to say how sorry I am to hear but to warn any others as I would have warned you NOT to say ANYTHING. It really is none of their business and you sort of put them in a no win situation. Healthcare organizations and their attorneys don't care a rats ass about anything but keeping themselves out of trouble. When in doubt just say no, get rid of the person or put it on someone else. This is all about CYA for themselves. So they first put it on the board of nursing. Now they will likely find a way to fire you. What good can come from keeping any level of known risk and they see you as a risk.

This is all so wrong. It should not happen but we can't change the world. We've had patients here make it through a short relapse, get back on track, their doc would have no clue of what happened. They come clean to the doc, thinking it's the right thing for recovery and the doc discharges them. It's all beyond wrong.

Sadly the door is now open. The world is not nearly as enlightened and forgiving as we are here. They just don't get it. No good deed ever goes unpunished. It's sad but we can't change that. There are privacy laws for a reason. You have the right to remain silent for a reason. If you don't, everything you say can and will be used against you. You are still new to recovery and are learning the valuable lessons many of us have hard learned.

How will we ever start beating addiction when those of us who do the right thing are treated this way? I feel so bad for you. My heart sank as soon as I read you were calling the board of nursing. Dr. Phil often suggests people not pass up a good chance to shut up. When it comes to addiction and bup treatment, sadly that is great advice. The world is just not ready for it and just doesn't understand. Please let us know what happens. I hope this works out for you.

If you have not written that self report yet I suggest in the strongest way possible you NOT SEND IT. Nothing good can come of it


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 Post subject: Re: new developments
PostPosted: Fri May 06, 2016 10:25 pm 
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I heartily hope that donh is nothing but WRONG, WRONG, WRONG! I usually try to give him as much crud as possible, so it would really be awesome if he is quite wrong. :o :)

The thing is, however, that even when don biffs the presentation, he is wicked smart and is often so right. Please keep us informed. We have to learn whatever lessons you might take away from your decision so that others who might be making the same decision will know.

I am rooting for you! I'm in your corner for sure. I want to hear that times are changing and the nursing board won't just give you the option of being fired or detoxing and doing 90 meetings in 90 days. That would be so sad. I'm going to ask a girlfriend I know who is a NICU nurse here in CO if she knows what happens in this state.

Prayers for Peace and for Grace!

Amy

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 Post subject: Re: new developments
PostPosted: Sat May 07, 2016 10:06 pm 
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That makes two of us Amy. I hope to hell Im wrong, wrong, wrong as well. It's sad that doing the right thing when it comes to drugs and addiction has the opposite outcome. People just don't get it. The public would be outraged if they allowed someone ONE DRUGS to provide patient care. We of course know the difference.

Get this - I watched Bill Mahr last night. That's something I NEVER do as it makes me crazy, republican that I am. However he had a drug counciling "expert" on to talk about the Recent death of Prince. His comment about Suboxone? Wait for it. "It's heroin lite" can you believe that? So then people like the OPs boss hear that and what are they to think and do? Allow an employee to be on "heroin lite". I get it. We here get it. The rest of the world is still catching up. Therefore I tell people I "used to be" on bup. It's just not worth the risk to say otherwise. I say it's great and I'd go back on in a second if I needed to.

Please let me be wrong about this case. I'd love nothing more. I'll be shocked, but thrilled.


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 Post subject: Re: new developments
PostPosted: Sun May 08, 2016 11:00 am 
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Sorry it has taken me so long to reply.
Friday morning, I met with my manager and the head of HR on our campus. The head of HR asked me to repeat my story, which I did, including that Im prescribed suboxone as part of my treatment, and the other aspects of my treatment. She then thanked me for telling her and said that she has been doing these types of conversations for years and that she had never had one like this where the employee seemed to lay it all out on the table. She then thanked me for that. She went though how to get in contact with out employee assistance program, and what services they offer. Next she told me that in order ensure patient safety I would need to submit a UA for a drug screen. I agreed. My boss then told me she valued me, I'm a good employee, and that she wanted to support me in my recovery. She told me that there would be a peer group (which I don't totally understand but think that's through the nursing board) and that she would be my sponsor. At that point I did the UA, which they pack up and send off campus for testing.
Don, I appreciate all that you've said. I did consider it all, even before I reported myself. And our board of nursing is NOT very tolerant or forgiving. I am aware of the risks but it's not just about me. Often times my assignments at work are babies who are not even 2lbs. I went to PRN (1 to 2 shifts a month) so that I could get through the 12hrs and not use, which was pure hell, and as a result, I NEVER wanted to work. I dreaded it. Looking back this plan was illogical because drugs would have still been in my system and being in the beginnings of withdrawal does not make for safe patient care. I really just want to do the right things now, not only for me but for those who depend on me. I explained to them that this drug does not impair me at all, I feel as though I never took drugs in the first place. This is the clearest I've been in years. But most of all, I am tired of living in shrouds of secrecy. I realize that by being honest I'm risking a lot more than just my career. But if I have have to keep things together by continuing to lie and ultimately be ashamed, maybe it was something or someone i didn't need in my life in the first place. Thank you for all of your support, and I really do appreciate your concern Don. Please keep it coming, because I'm just winging it over here, trying to just get through the day at hand. If I lose my job, my career as a nurse it will hurt, for sure. But I truly feel peace about my decision and I'm going to stick to the truth at all costs. Thanks guys! Happy Mothers Day to all!!!


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 Post subject: Re: new developments
PostPosted: Sun May 08, 2016 11:30 am 
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You're so brave for standing up to the truth.
I for one, have had some complicated battles of what's right and what's wrong.
Then criticized because of it.
Please don't give up on fighting for what's right.

GOOD will ALWAYS prevail, in the end. EVENTUALLY.
It's gonna take everything you got.
Best wishes
And happy mothers day :)

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 Post subject: Re: new developments
PostPosted: Sun May 08, 2016 2:22 pm 
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I'm glad that you are feeling supported by your boss and others. :) And I'm more glad that you are at peace with the outcome, come what may. We'll be here to support you no matter what happens!

Amy

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 Post subject: Re: new developments
PostPosted: Sun May 08, 2016 4:34 pm 
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Prayingforpeace- I'm so glad things seem to be going OK for you. What a big scary thing to be open and honest to those with the power to fire us!! I am so proud of you and moved by your honesty and feelings about it all. I think it already shows big growth in recovery !! And yes I feel ya on the taking it day by day ! Some days that's all I can do ...make it through today. Anyway I just wanted to say I am rooting for ya and hope all turns out good for you. I know it will one way or another. Happy mothers day to you and all the moms on here !!


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 Post subject: Re: new developments
PostPosted: Mon May 09, 2016 10:44 am 
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I was watching an old episode of some Diane Sawyer show where she was going into women's prisons and just talking to inmates and talking to the correction officers too. So I was just chilling out watching and remembering my old life in and out of jail when they started talking about a drug that was constantly being found inside the prison called "box". I was thinking....huh box, wth is that. Well then Diane Sawyer begins saying how it's a drug named suboxone and had "a high like heroin". I about fell over, it made me so freaking mad that I just stopped watching it after that. Can Diane Sawyer not do her research before saying that on national tv?? That's going to be stuck in ppl's minds who literally don't know better. She never once said (that I remember) how suboxone was a drug used for recovery or even opiate replacement therapy. It sends a horrible message. This is why ppl have such stigma about suboxone. It's extremely unfair to those of us who take sub and completely turned our life around to discredit it like that comparing it to a heroin high. I'm pretty sure those ppl who've been high on heroin would disagree that sub is like getting high on H. It's just something that I wanted to comment on because stuff like that is why a lot of ppl on suboxone are afraid to mention it. It's so disappointing.

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 Post subject: Re: new developments
PostPosted: Mon May 09, 2016 1:27 pm 
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Jenn- ugh so disappointing like you said! But doesn't surprise me. Unfortunately it seems to be the norm as far as reporters even on national TV not having their facts straight and so very far from the truth!! Suboxone has never once felt like a "heroine high" to me that's for damn sure!! I have had some of my old associates find out I was on subs. They have called me and begged me to let them try some. Saying things like...have you snorted it , I've heard it's a great high even from a sliver , blah blah blah... I just laugh ! At first I would get angry. But I remember who they are and not worth my anger. I've tried to explain to some of them what it is and encourage them to get a Dr and try it. But most of them aren't ready to hear that. I definitely told them that they "heard " wrong and sorry but I don't sell my meds. Or give them away. So of course that was the end of the conversation. Lol. But ya there is soooo much misinformation out there . It's so frustrating and sad. Especially when it comes from seemingly intelligent people who could really make a difference if they would report the truth!!!

Willow


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 Post subject: Re: new developments
PostPosted: Tue May 10, 2016 10:28 am 
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Yep Willow, I know what ur saying. I know that we all know the truth about it and I wish so much for that stigma to go away. I got my first dose of that stigma when I was fighting for custody of my daughter. My family attorney that I've known for yrs and yrs, treated me like I was contagious because he'd known about my addiction. Then after hearing that I was on suboxone treatment, he said that his advice was to get off sub before I went in front of the judge because that particular judge doesn't consider suboxone as a form of recovery. I walked into that appointment feeling proud of myself and walked out feeling like ppl thought I was still getting high but with a prescription this time. I had no idea about the stigma with suboxone (I hadn't found this forum yet unfortunately).

We just have to try to change these opinions one person at a time if we have to......But I don't know Diane Sawyer personally lol so I don't know what to do about her :)

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 Post subject: Re: new developments
PostPosted: Mon May 16, 2016 8:16 pm 
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Do you have any update for us, praying? It looks like you've not logged in for over a week. I'm hoping no news is good news. It would be great to hear if you're back on the nursing schedule and how you are being treated.


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