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 Post subject: My New Doctor
PostPosted: Mon Sep 20, 2010 6:27 pm 
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I had my appointment today with my new sub doctor. I was pretty nervous going in because I didn't know what to expect. My appointment was for 9:20 so I got there at 8:45 to do the paperwork. When I got to the office I had a bunch of paper work to fill out and started it right away. However, the new doctor came out about 20 minutes early and took me in. He took a history from me and asked me about my current doctor. I explained why I wanted to switch and the doctor said it was my right to seek out treatment that I thought was best for me. I asked him why I was only on subs for an average of 12 days the two times that I had taken subs before. He said it was because the doctors didn't know how the subs would effect me so they gave it a shot. He did say that since I have been on since July that I couldn't just come right off. I told him I wanted to taper and that I had been on 2 mgs a day for the past 4 weeks. He said I should be okay on 1.5 mgs a day but I need to stay on that until I see him October 20th. He didn't want me to lower the dose myself. I mentioned that I was a bit nervous going down to 1.5 a day because I may have discomfort. He said it should be minimal and if it effects me it would only be for a few days. He also told me "shit happens." At least the guy has a sense of humor. He did say that if I did have trouble dropping that I should call his office and he would speak with me. I told him that I have 34 pills left and he said that he wouldn't prescribe me any until my next visit because I had enough to hold me over. I am fine with that...at least I know that he has common sense and isn't looking to give me the ability to abuse them.

Because I am comfortable with this guy and he takes my insurance (which means I pay 2/3 less then my other doctor) I am going to stay with him. Now the only thing I am facing is how to tell my first doctor that I am not going to be coming to him. Should I just tell him that I stopped taking subs and that I am doing ok? Or should I just tell him that I couldn't afford him anymore. Has anyone here ever broken it off with their doctor? What did you say?

I am not a very confrontational person so you input would be greatly appreciated!


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 Post subject: Hey....................
PostPosted: Mon Sep 20, 2010 6:54 pm 
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I dont like the " shit happens " comment, Sorry.. when you start getting around the 2mg to 1.5mg taper you really learn what being addicted to opiates is all about, I always planned on getting off Suboxone, I think most people do, even though I only took Tramadol for 2 yrs , I know it changed my brain... I,m at 1mg and if my Dr took that away from me I would find a new Dr before I tapered down from 1mg. I dont think I have another taper in me for a long long time.. I'm just hoping if I need pain pills they work !!!!!


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Mon Sep 20, 2010 7:03 pm 
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I think what he meant by the "shit happens" comment, and maybe I wrote out of context, is that the effects I will feel from the taper will be minimal. So I probably should have said "Shit happens, the effects will be minimal." It may not sound okay to some, but the way I heard it wasn't offensive. I hope I explained that right.


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 Post subject: So far so good...
PostPosted: Tue Sep 21, 2010 10:44 pm 
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I am on day 2 of my taper down to 1.5 mg. I did have a bit of stomach discomfort this morning but nothing that I can't handle. I also needed to take a Motrin but I think that work just gives me a headache!

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"When there's no one left to leave you, even you don't quite believe you, that's when nothing can deceive you."


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PostPosted: Wed Sep 22, 2010 6:47 am 
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I'd start exercising a little a couple times a day, days 4-6 were really bad for me, also dosing twice a day helps bigtime... Hey OOTW's 4 yrs ago I lost 130 lbs and it was hard to do, but nothing compared to getting off opiates " SORRY" ... Good Luck , MIke


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 Post subject: New Doctor
PostPosted: Sat Sep 25, 2010 9:15 am 
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I'm also considering switching Sub Dr's after a recent psychological eval that didn't go very well. My doc is is his late 70's, has a bit of senility, and I need to feel confident that I'm going to continue to get this drug that's changed my life. It's very possible he's gonna can me next visit (due to the interview, plus he's a pain doctor, and proabably wants me to see an addictionologist). My psychiatrist of 8 yrs already offered me a favorable referral to his Suboxone associate. It's farther away and more $, but I'd be WAY more confident. This has been 24x7 on my mind, very literally - I have been almost 4 mos clean of pills and this psychologist lady at his clinic basically dragged me through the mud. She had no interest in hearing about my clean time,recovery, therapist,here to help, etc...she only wanted to excoriate me for my pre-sub past. I was really excited about the interview since I've been doing so well- actually thought she'd be pleased- wrong.

After taking my "fill in the bubble exam, I tried to explain to her that I had some concerns about some of the questions, since they may relate to my spinal injury, and not the "anxiety" the test is intended to assess. She completely ignored me, scored the exam, and said "Your anxiety score is off the top, the highest I've ever seen"......and that's what she reported to the doctor.

I really need to share this with someone, sorry to bother y'all with it, but here's what I was trying to tell her......
Maybe you can tell me if I'm off-base here, but the word discrimination does come to mind and I need some feedback.

The exam rates each question from 0-4 in terms of severity, and I HONESTLY answered "4" to the following questions
The explanation I was trying to give her (and she wouldn't listen to- "It doesn't matter" follows each question:

Do you experience Wobbliness?...4/4 (I just got out of a wheelchair and can barely walk, so yea I'm "wobbly" to say the least.
Do you Expereince numbess and tingling?...4/4 (I have severe & painful peripheral neuropathy in both legs and hands)
Loss of interest in sex?.....4/4 (My spinal injury left my unable to urinate without a catheter, or perform sexually)

The lesson I learned from that is that I'd have been WAY better of lying (which I considered), but that's not the way I live my new life in recovery. Those tests are very easy to manipulate. IMHO, my above symptoms clearly have nothing to do with anxiety.
My mother has suggested that I write a letter to the Dr. expressing this concern.

My next appt. is not until 10/9. Really I'd like to stay with this doc- he's 4 miles from my house instead of 20 for the new doc, and costs 1/3 as much (I'm on SSDI). His clinic has me on a 40% hardship discount, and I can pay over time.

I can't stand the waiting game until 10/9 to find out whether he's going to continue me on Suboxone or hand me a taper script. The only thing I can think to do is to have my referral letters from therapist and psychiatrist sent this week, and then write him a fax update on my status- My mom is infuriated about the interview and says I need to bring it up to him- but the lady works for him

This situation is affecting every aspect of my life right now and I really need to know what to do. There's no doubt in my mind that the lady did me wrong, not only with the test but the way she treated me in general, but she's the Ph.D expert and I'm the addict.

Thanks & sorry for the lengthy post,
Runner


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Sun Sep 26, 2010 8:10 am 
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Runner,

It is hard to have a valid opinion on your appointment because I am not sure if I understand the context in which you ended up there. I also agree with you about those tests and how they can be manipulated. I am not sure I understand why they would take you OFF suboxone if you "didn't do well" on a psychological evaluation???? Generally speaking, they are evaluating you for a variety of conditions and they may diagnose you with a pain disorder associated with a general medical condition or generalized anxiety and a medical condition. The thing is, if you have anxiety it doesn't matter if it is the result of a medical condition or something else. You still have anxiety. There can be REAL reasons for those anxieties. Just because they are related to a real medical condition doesn't mean they don't need to be diagnosed or addressed or treated don't you think? If they ignored the impact of your spinal condition, and ignored the residual affects, then you would be mistreated.

In my opinion, removing you from suboxone with this level of anxiety RELATED to a medical condition might be a bad idea. My guess is that a medical professional might think the same way. Why do you think this evaluation will result in you being removed from suboxone?

Anyways, maybe I don't understand this well and I apologize if I am missing something here. I might be and acknowledge that. It is a complex situation especially out of context to some extent.

Cherie

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Criticism may not be agreeable, but it is necessary. It fulfills the same function as pain in the human body. It calls attention to an unhealthy state of things.

- Winston Churchill


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Sun Sep 26, 2010 8:58 am 
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I am in a similar situation.....not sure if the doctor I have right now is on board with me being on long-term maintenance or not. If he isn't, then I will be finding a new doctor that is. I have advanced HepC and liver damage. My gastroenterologist wants me to stay on the suboxone indefinitely, and I agree. After 30+ years of heavy opiate abuse, my brain is jello when it comes to functioning properly without opiates in my blood. That's just a fact of life.

My policy with my doctor has always been to just tell it like it is. If he and I cannot reach consensus on my treatment plan, then I will simply find a new doctor with whom I can reach consensus, then, once I am accepted by the new doctor, I will go back to my original doctor (or perhaps call him) and just tell him the truth.

There's nothing wrong with advocating for yourself.


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Sun Sep 26, 2010 12:24 pm 
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Junkie, I agree with you entirely. My 1st sub doc was a whack job but I was desperate and since I work in a field closely related to the medical professionals, I had to find a doctor who I wouldn't cross paths with professionally. That was very hard to do. The 2nd time around, prior to scheduling an appointment, I asked if the doctor believed in long term maintenance. Anyone who said no or wouldn't answer I didn't schedule with. My current doctor actually has you set up for a FREE appointment to get to know each other and determine if both parties believe it is a good fit. THEN, if it is, she has you come in for another appointment (same day for me) and get evaluated and do the UA blah blah blah. Dr./Patient match is extremely important. I mean, this person is going to be part of and have control of your life for a very long time. It has to be someone who you can trust to have YOU and your health in mind first and foremost. In my experience, it is something worth searching for.

Cherie

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Criticism may not be agreeable, but it is necessary. It fulfills the same function as pain in the human body. It calls attention to an unhealthy state of things.

- Winston Churchill


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