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 Post subject: Second Rate Citizen
PostPosted: Tue Sep 15, 2009 12:11 am 
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I left this as a reply to one of Doc's rants on suboxone talk zone, and need to get it out, in case it never shows up on the other site. It replies the rant on "Needing, Wanting, and Taking Narcotics: Do opiate addicts need more or less?" If anybody else got the treatment I did In my short story, don't dwell, your not alone. If we all stick together maybe we can get recovery addicts to be treated equal, with doctors, and everybody else in the world. My reply to the rant went like this:


[i]I was sober and on suboxone for almost a full year when I got yet another kidney stone. I was taken to the local ER by a member of my family, and when questions like “are you currently on any medications?” were answered by “yes I’m taking Buprenorphine” I got “the look”. That day I was really in “severe” pain and before Bupe I was in the same place, and within ten minutes had IV Demerol. This time, I.B. 800, and one Flexeril before leaving. 12 hours later I was back in the ER, and this time after about 2 hours of throwing up on myself from the pain of a 9mm stone, I was given a “fifty” of IV Demerol and got sent home with (6) 5/500 Vicodin to be taken 6-8 hr PRN pain. “You got to be kidding me”, I said. Well come Monday I go to my M.D. (I’ll call him Doc. V.), and tell the girls behind the desk what I went through, and was told the Doc. was not in all week, and about a minute later here comes the Doc. from an exam room. I told him what was happening and guess what, he told me he couldn’t help me this time, and I was asked to leave. Now last stone I had was smaller, and Doc. V gave me all the Schedule II drugs I needed. Well I somehow get to a local Urologist and upon entering the office collapse in pain, right in the waiting room. I’m taken to the back, had a talk with one of the Urologists and tell him,the best I can about my weekend, and day so far. I was given Oxycodone APAP 10mg and instructed to take up to 2 every 6hrs PRN pain. I discussed this with my sub doc. and was told that I should call his cell phone if this should happen again, he then approved of my short discontinuation from sub, and after a week of feeling like crap went back on Bupe, toughing out the pain for another 5 weeks, and the very “fun” passing of a 9mm x 5mm kidney stone. I feel like a second rate citizen, sometimes less than that when people find out I’m a recovering addict, and when people find out I’m on Bupe. It is very depressing and sometimes all I want to do is stay in the house, and sometimes that’s exactly what I do. All I’ve ever known is addiction, (I’m 26 now, my 1st Oxycontin and the last time I was sober was at age 15) and I try to be tough, never forgetting how far I’ve come over the last 434 days (or 37,497,600 seconds)that I’ve been in treatment, but one can’t help to be offended by people whom hate you, yet don’t know you. Stay strong, and hang in there everybody, and you too Doc.! Giving up isn’t an option, not for anybody recovering, because more times than not, giving up is a suicide mission, and haven’t there been enough deaths from opioid addiction?

-JayJay Sober date: July 9th, 2008


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PostPosted: Wed Sep 16, 2009 6:31 pm 
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I hate to hear that you had such a hard time when suffering from a kidney stone. As a fellow kidney stone sufferer, I understand the pain! I don't think, until you've been there, anyone can understand this kind of pain. That being said, I'm very, very lucky to have an astronomically high tolerance for acute pain. I've had numerous stones over the years, and only once have had to have serious pain medication to get through it. But that's me. I know, and have witnessed, people brought to their knees from the pain.

It's a hard thing, balancing when/how much pain medication we need in the face of an addiction. I remember, years ago, I had gone through detox and had been sober for several weeks. I was very proud of myself and very aware of how tenuous that sobriety was. I woke up one afternoon with a gland swollen in my groin area. By that evening I couldn't walk. It was an abcessed lymph node. We ended up at the ER and found that they needed to open and drain it. Of course, they wanted to give me pain medication. It was so painful that touching it with a piece of gauze hurt, and they were about to give me shots in it and cut it open and then pack it with gauze. Still, I refused to let them give me ANYTHING for pain before - or after. Even though the after care was to go have it "repacked" with medicated gauze everyday.

At my next appointment with my psychiatrist, who had detoxed me, I proudly told him how brave and wonderful I was to refuse any pain medication and bear all of that. I remember his look. Kind of like I was crazy. He listened. And then he told me that was the stupidest thing he had ever heard! LOL He wasn't being mean. But he made his point. And his point was, just because you're an opiate addict doesn't mean you're not ever going to have to take opiates again. And that was certainly a time when you needed to take them. The discipline comes in taking them responsibly. And in making your treating physician understand that you're a recovering opiate addict so that they prescribe conservatively and in your best interest.

It is sad that people, in and out of the medical profession, don't realize the whole "there but for the Grace of God go I" concept of addiction. While it is true that some of us are more prone to addiction, addiction to prescribed medication can happen to anyone. And the road from prescription opiates to street opiates is not a long one for a lot of people who never would have used opiates, ever, had they not been prescribed to start with. So, since we're all human, all subject to pain at times in our life, and all subject to taking opiate pain medication during our life, we're all in danger of addiction to it.

I think that there are great inroads being made into recognizing addiction as another disease and not a moral issue. People from all walks of life become addicts. For some of us, the road to addiction and back to recovery is a gift of self-awareness that we would never have accomplished but for the disease. For many of us it has made us more compassionate, open and accepting of others. And for those who look down their noses at us for admitting our addiction and asking for help to keep us from relapsing, for those who think that we are somehow less than deserving or honorable for that, shame on them. I hope they live up to the high standards, truly, to which they want to hold others accountable. If so, more power to them. But my bet is that they have their own skeletons.

Good luck with your stones. I'm glad you finally did get some relief. I hope it was sufficient. Those things can be horrible!!!


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PostPosted: Wed Sep 16, 2009 8:03 pm 
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Wow, I'm sorry you had to go through all of that.

I've had kidney stones too and they hurt like a bitch. I had one about 6 months into my Suboxone treatment - it wasn't as big as yours but it was blocking the tube and causing havoc. When I got to the ER my gut instinct was NOT to tell them that I was on Sub - and I didn't. The ER docs are suspicious enough even when you don't admit to being an addict. The offical position is that Sub patients should get MORE opiates when needed to override our higher tolerance and to out-compete the bupe at our receptors. But I know as well you that what's likely to happen is they'll give us LESS...or nothing at all. So I figued something was better than nothing and just omitted Sub when they asked about medications.

Lucky for me, the shot of dilaudid & toradol worked, though it wore off kindof quickly. They even gave me another dose before I left and then I was fine. I went right back on Sub too without ever going into withdrawal and I was fine.

I hope you don't have to deal with a situation like this again.

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PostPosted: Mon Sep 21, 2009 4:25 pm 
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thanks for the input.....the road to recovery is not an easy one, that's for sure. Someone told me one time " to delay gratification in life, increases your chances for success." and I hold that true to this day. The hard things in life are usually the right things. Also true, epically in recovery. We are always tested throughout life, weather it be stress, the death of a loved one, or extraordinarily huge amounts of pain. Every test we pass though, brings us closer to being "recovered" rather than "recovering."

JayJay


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PostPosted: Fri Nov 20, 2009 12:01 am 
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I've learned to appreciate Toradol after being on Sub. I used to laugh or get mad at ER staff when they decided to use toradol over morphine or even demerol. But it does help...a lot.


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PostPosted: Mon Nov 30, 2009 4:20 pm 
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How does one know when its time to wean off suboxone? Ive been taking it for 2 1/2 years. Just dont want to have to keep taking these things. I have 8-2 2x a day. I only take 1/2 in am and 1/2 in pm.


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PostPosted: Tue Dec 01, 2009 11:37 pm 
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I knew my insurance was going to run out at a certain point, so that inspired me to taper. But I also knew I was ready. I just started with the goal to get my dose down low enough that I'd be able to afford my scrip if I had to start paying for it...but by the time my coverage ran out I knew I could do it.

If you start tapering and then you start feeling like you want to use, then that's a bad sign. If you're able to taper and maintain your recovery and your life, then that's good.

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