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PostPosted: Fri Feb 10, 2012 8:20 am 
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So I had my regular appointment yesterday (Feb 9) with my Suboxone doctor. Anyone who's been keeping up knows that I mentioned having those 5 teeth pulled on 2/7, just 2 days before my Sub appointment (and as a testament to my sobriety, it just happened to be time for my to take a UA at this visit...two days after some MAJOR dental work that was very painful).

I also haven't been to an appointment since joining this site, so I've learned QUITE a bit since my last visit to him, in November of 2011. I also had some things to share and throw out to my doctor, since I've read some horror stories about people and their doctors, I wanted to test the water and see what kind of doctor mine was.

Needless to say, I was VERY happy when I left his office. I told him of my dental work, and obviously he asked about pain meds when I told him that i had 5 extractions...and I told him that the dentist offered, but I turned down the lortabs and just took the antibiotics I was given. I also told him when he asked about group "therapy" that I had found something that worked pretty well for me, and I explained my finding of this site, told him there were many people here who were in recovery..and that I had actually met a couple of folks that had told me my story had helped them, or I've provided advice that has done someone else some good.

Then I moved the conversation toward my treatment. I told him that I was glad he wasn't one of those doctors who put everyone through a 6-month or standard time-alotted program. He said the words that made me feel GREAT -- and I quote: "Not every patient is the same, what works for one, doesn't always work for someone else. We are doctors, and we can't always remember everything about everyone, so it's good that you're getting information and learning things on your own"

When I mentioned the 6-month programs, he beat me to saying that the relapse rates were TREMENDOUSLY high, and in closing he told me that I had always done good with my treatment, and then he told me this:

"As long as your doing good and are comfortable where you're at, then I'm comfortable keeping you where you are with your suboxone. But if you decide you want to drop down or taper off, just talk with me about that and I'll help you do that."

I hope no one thinks I'm bragging, as I've seen some of you say some pretty scary things about your doctors, but this visit was one that I wanted to sorta investigate my doctor and see what his responses were. I had never asked the hard questions, and just usually went in, said yes to a couple of questions, and left. So I was taking what I had read about other doctors, and making sure that my doctor wasn't going to suddenly say "oh, by the way, this is the last time I'm going to see you."

I had to make sure, but I thought that my doctor was pretty decent from the start..because of the way he helped me financially when I first started seeing him...but it never hurts to be positive about it. And now I feel better knowing that he's not just in it for money, and he cares about each patient and their treatment, and what works best for each individual. I know we're all at the mercy of our doctors, and some of those doctors change their course on a whim, but it's good to find out exactly where you stand and what your up against, and whether you should look to other options, or if you're at the best you're going to get with your current choice.

I for one do not see myself changing doctors ANY time in the near future. I just hope that my doctor doesn't decide to move away or pursue other areas of practice...but I somehow doubt he will.

I do think that it's ironic, VERY ironic, that the same doctor that helps me and feels the way he does about addiction and ORT, will take the next patient after I walk out of there and prescribe them 120 Lortab 10s a month. It just seems..like I said, PURE irony. But, different things for different people, and just like the man said, not everything works the same for everyone....so true.


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PostPosted: Fri Feb 10, 2012 7:11 pm 
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jonathanm-I am so happy that you have such an understanding doctor. I started inpatient treatment in May at a clinic that specializes in suboxone treatment and they also dont try to hurry you along. It is nice to know that you can move at your own pace.I know at least 1 patient that has been on sub for over 2 years, but after 10 or more years of heroin use it seems reasonable to need a long recovery time.They also have many meeting programs for people in recovery also, so its not just suboxone. good luck to you with your recovery and you new sober life!


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PostPosted: Sat Feb 11, 2012 12:27 am 
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thats great Jonathan!!!!!!

GOOD for YOU, asking your doctor the questions that were on your mind.

I too, really like my doc. as he also helped me, basically in 'off the street' with no money at all at my induction.

anyways, I too, asked the same questions you did about two months ago. he answered basically how yours did. He said when your an addict for 10+ years, your not 'cured' in SIX, NINE, or even TWELVE months.
everyone is different, everyones addiction is different, and etc.

He says when Im ready, to taper or go down, whatever, he'll help me any way he can, and untill then, work on my recovery and dont stress out about our visits.

Its funny, or ironic too, that he used to give me a bloodtest every week, and a one week Rx of suboxone. then, when I was doing good, so I went every TWO weeks, then once a month.
Now I go every other month. and my last appointment, he didnt even send me to the lab.
I was kinda in shock, almost dissapointed, LOL

Anyways, thats GREAT jonathan, KEEP up the good WORK

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PostPosted: Sat Feb 11, 2012 8:47 am 
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amber4.14.11 wrote:
thats great Jonathan!!!!!!

GOOD for YOU, asking your doctor the questions that were on your mind.

I too, really like my doc. as he also helped me, basically in 'off the street' with no money at all at my induction.

anyways, I too, asked the same questions you did about two months ago. he answered basically how yours did. He said when your an addict for 10+ years, your not 'cured' in SIX, NINE, or even TWELVE months.
everyone is different, everyones addiction is different, and etc.

He says when Im ready, to taper or go down, whatever, he'll help me any way he can, and untill then, work on my recovery and dont stress out about our visits.

Its funny, or ironic too, that he used to give me a bloodtest every week, and a one week Rx of suboxone. then, when I was doing good, so I went every TWO weeks, then once a month.
Now I go every other month. and my last appointment, he didnt even send me to the lab.
I was kinda in shock, almost dissapointed, LOL

Anyways, thats GREAT jonathan, KEEP up the good WORK



Mine normally will do the UA a couple of times a year, but I actually would prefer for him to do the UA at each visit. Sure, in 3 months time I COULD fall off the wagon, get back on and repeat the process a couple of times, and never be caught, but that sort of attitude isn't the one anyone should have when purposely staying clean and sober.
If I thought of things like that, then I would be dishonest with myself, mainly, but I'd be lying to everyone that's a part of my life, most importantly, my wife.

I've been pretty lucky I guess, but only since I started seeing THIS doctor...as I've been to a doctor that didn't care about nothing except the money....and it's awful. And also, I wasn't as serious with my recovery and sobriety as I am now and have been the past 2 years. The first year that I was in with another doctor, from June 2008 until August 2009, I wasn't focused on staying "as" clean...
I did things that I should not have done, and I convinced myself it was all ok because I wasn't doing "that" much wrong...
And I had a doctor that was pushing all kinds of pills into me, including my Suboxone. I don't think he knew that much about the drug, and mostly just handed out the pills without much background into your drug use. I remember sitting in his office, and hearing him in the next room with a patient...telling them he was going to go up on their lortabs from 120/month to 160/month. Then he would come in with me and complain about me taking too much Suboxone, and I was at 60/month at that time.

I posted elsewhere the struggles and problem that caused me to dismiss this doctor from treating me, so I won't detail that here..but ultimately, I left him and went to the doctor I'm currently seeing. I decided at that point "it's time to get serious" and was up-front and honest the entire time I've been with my current doctor. No slipping around, no "oops, didn't know" ..because in the end, it's ME that's losing out, not the doctor...

I guess my current doctor knew and gathered by my honesty and sincerity that I was one of the exceptions to the rules, because from day 1 with him, I was put on 3-month visits. I never had induction with him, and never had monthly visits. I explained to him my finances, how my wife had just lost her job at the plant, and I was laid off..and he told me that as long as I did well, he didn't have a problem putting me on 3-month follow-ups.
I always heard "never look a gift horse in the mouth", and I saw that as my opportunity to prove to myself that I could do this right, and treat my sobriety as it should be treated..and I'm happy to say that I've not faltered from that since then.

We all can look back and talk about what got us to the point where we are now, it's those decisions we make that put us under the circumstances we are sometimes faced with. I made some wrong decisions, and dealt with that..but now I'm making the right ones.

And the closer we get to this new baby being born, the more I appreciate my sobriety...because I was high for my quite a few years in my children's lives..and I missed a LOT of firsts. I regret that, deeply..but now I'm the father I should've been all along and this new baby girl will get to be a part of that. If my niece is any sign of what's to come, then my soon-to-be-born daughter is going to be ROTTEN. My niece thinks that I'm her daddy..but that's partly because my sister neglects her and doesn't care about being a parent. But the little girl has really become attached to me and she's now 15 months old...so I sense some jealousy is around the corner when we bring home "Reagan".


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