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PostPosted: Wed Feb 19, 2014 7:06 pm 
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I wasn't sure if I should even take the time to post this story or what section to post in in. But, since I've read my share of horror stories on here and many of you have lived them I thought I'd both give credit where it's due and let everyone know sometimes the system works just as it should.

So.... I have been on 3 month appointments with my sub doc of just over four years. Sometimes he wrote refills on my scripts but more often than not I had to call every month and then pick up a written script later in the week. About 25% of the time I'd be drug tested. This time as I'm on a taper, even though I was well over 90 days since the last script, I was able to push it to this past Monday's appointment. I had taken 2mg/day for the last five days and was feeling anxious and jittery having pretty quickly went directly from 3mg down to 2. I slept okay but woke up Monday AM in a bit of withdrawals. Nothing horrendous but I really was feeling it. I was completely out of sub with my appointment at 11:30 am. It would be a long three hours yet but I'd push through, see the doc, pickup a script and get it filled by early afternoon.

Just after 9 AM the phone rings. It's the clinic telling me the doctor is sick and we need to reschedule. I immediately panicked. I was out of sub and already in the start of withdrawals. It was not a medical person calling but the receptionist. I told her I needed to be refilled and of course she said it would be at least two days! Now I really started to panic. She did promise to pass this to his nurse but still said they could not refill me that day. My appointment was rescheduled for nearly a month later.

It's amazing how much the mind plays on all of this as I immediately felt my withdrawal symptoms more than double as I hung up the phone. I had worried about something like this happening in the past but never thought it would. Now it had and I was really, really scared. Minutes would pass like hours and I knew I'd be miserable all day and would not sleep that night as I went further into withdrawal. I tried to think of options but had none. It's amazing how withdrawal has nearly become like PTSD for me. I'm really, really crazy scared of them. Had I been at 16 mg I would have been fine for a couple days but down at my new 2 mg dose, not yet even adjusted to it, and my last 1 mg dose over 15 hours ago I was in trouble.

It was less than half an hour when the nurse called back. There was no fight, no blaming, no lies, she simply stated "I've already called in an emergency refill (16mg) to your pharmacy" wow, I could have kissed her! Never in 4 years have they called anything in. They always required a written script. It's a pain clinic with most patients getting oxy rather than Bup. They would then call me later in the week when the doctor returned and have me pick up a script like usual. She added I hope doctor is back by then. I was pretty certain I could at least get a week out of two strips so that didn't worry me as much.

Then my next fear set in: would Walgreens refill over the phone? They have gotten very strange as a company over the last year, forcing diagnosis codes, etc. would they tell me it's their policy to require a written script for sub due to the special DEA number or something? Would they tell me then ran out over the weekend, as has happened in the past? Did the nurse make a mistake and call in 2 mg rather than 8 mg strips? While I'd be okay for 48 hours I'd be back in the same place in less than two days.

I could not wait and was at the counter within 30 minutes of the phone call. Yes it had just been called in, no it was not ready yet. Just give them 15 minutes. The relief was something I had not experienced in many years. It really took me back to my using days. I never give it a thought otherwise. It really has become no different than my morning Lipitor. I take it and forget it.

Two days later, (today) once again just after 9 AM the phone rings again, it's the same nurse telling me they are again calling in the full month plus supply right now. I didn't even need to come in. And get this, my doc seems to think that the naloxone might be having more of an effect at 2 mg so he is switching me to Bup only - the old subutex. Now I really don't think he's right about this but who cares, even less cost.

The point of this long story is to let everyone know that sometimes the entire system works as it should. I've never had any issues with the folks at the pharmacy. They are always very nice, never look down on me, never condescending, never give me a hassle. The nurse really seemed to care and the doc clearly has protocols in place to allow the nurse to make the refill decision on her own. I highly doubt she spoke to the doc out sick in that short time. This could have gone far, far worse. I could have been on here miserable and asking for help. I'm going to make sure I'm never cut this short again. I used to gave a stockpile but let it dwindle for no good reason - even let a refill expire once. I'll now fix that.

If only more Bup patients were treated like I was this week. At least this is proof it does happen!


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PostPosted: Wed Feb 19, 2014 7:51 pm 
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hey donh,

so glad it all worked out for you. I was going to post something similar. I have a great doctor now compared to the ones I had before, and he'll call in refills and write with refills also. He even called my pharmacy last week and let me refill early because of impending bad weather. and that rx had refills remaining. anyway...I had an appointment for therapy with him today, and mentioned to him that cost was becoming a real factor for me, being uninsured and buying Suboxone, without batting an eye, he switched me to mono product bupe. it'll save me over 500 bucks! yay you! yay me! it's really not all horror stories! it's not always drama! good stuff donh!


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PostPosted: Thu Feb 20, 2014 5:46 pm 
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Awesome, I'm happy for you :) I always felt grateful for the quality and accessibility of my treatment, but after coming to this forum I'm reminded of how lucky I am every month when I go for my appointment. I had one with my doc today, it's a chronic pain/sport medicine practice in which he's reputable, so he's very busy but actually takes time to talk with patients during the appts as much as he can, from my experience isn't prepared to let a patient detox alone over some ill fated crap like that. There's actually a nurse practitioner there too whom I've had appointments with and wrote my scrips once every blue moon I guess when it was days where they had a lot to deal with. The receptionists are also extremely nice and actually remember who you are. My pharmacy people are so nice and had me paying nothing through one of the coupons before I even knew about that stuff. They're also much more knowledgable about the meds and treatment for chronic pain than some other pharmacists/techs I've encountered. Hats off to the ones who treat you like you deserve their attention, seriously!


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PostPosted: Fri Feb 21, 2014 8:50 am 
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I am loving this thread!

Thanks so much for posting this Don. Goes to show that there are actually many really good doctors out there. Thanks for the positivity!

Q :D

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PostPosted: Fri Feb 21, 2014 8:29 pm 
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That is truly a great story, it's nice to read something positive! I was lucky with my doctor once as well, I ran out early due to wanting to lower my dose. It was my idea and I had been tapering for awhile and it caught up to me. Not only did he ok an early fill to the pharmacy, he called in a new script with a larger amount. I love my doctor. But the whole scene made me remember my using days and the desperation of hooking up to stop withdrawals.

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