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PostPosted: Fri Oct 22, 2010 7:23 pm 
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I just started suboxone on 9/22/2010. On 9/30/2010 I had back surgery. I just stopped taking the suboxone three days prior. I didn't tell my surgeon that I was on suboxone. I told my sub Dr. that I had scheduled surgery but had not made up my mind whether I was going to go through with it. I obviously went through with it, but didn't tell him. I was going to discuss everything this Monday at my appt. I found out today that my suboxone Dr. called my surgeon and now I am scared to go see my Suboxone Dr on Monday. I know I handled everything wrong! I don't want to get into legal trouble! I need answers and advice! Please!


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PostPosted: Fri Oct 22, 2010 7:46 pm 
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Hi juststarting and welcome to the forum. I don't think you'd get into any "legal" trouble for what you did. You told your sub doc you might have the surgery and you ended up having it. You did right by stopping it 3 days before your surgery. I don't see why your sub doc would be upset or angry, unless because you didn't tell your surgeon about the sub. Some people choose to keep that private, for fear of stigma and discrimination. If it were me I'd talk to the sub doc honestly and just resolve to be fully honest with him/her it the future. Good luck and let us know how it goes.

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PostPosted: Fri Oct 22, 2010 9:01 pm 
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Thank you, hatmaker510! I am at a loss as to why he called my surgeon. But that is really beside the point. I didn't want my surgeon to know and had no intention of continuing the pain meds. I did need them after surgery and am still in some pain but have been dealing with it. I guess I will go to my appointment on Monday and, like you said, just be honest. Which is what I was planning on doing. I am supposed to go see my surgeon again on 11/10. That's going to be tough. I have a lot of respect for him and he is a good doctor(even though he way overprescribed my Norco). I felt like we had trust and that is now broken. I guess I should have been up front and honest with him, but I live in a small town and didn't want my personal life and problems to become public knowledge. I just didn't want to go to my appointment on Monday and be arrested! You have made me feel a lot better. Thanks, again.


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PostPosted: Sat Oct 23, 2010 12:37 pm 
I guess it was poor planning to start Sub 8 days before major surgery, but there's nothing you can do about that now. You didn't do anything illegal (or unethical IMO). When I got got in a car accident I ended up filling a prescription for Sub and oxycodone on the same day, one before and one after. Just being honest with the doctors like you're planning is the best you can do.
I'm under the impression that you got hooked on the norcos your back surgeon prescribed? Well, now that he knows you're on Sub maybe you can explain to him what you've been through, and help him understand the risk of painkiller addiction for future patients who walk through his door. On the other hand, he could be a total jerk about it - but you don't have any control over that.
I don't think you've done anything wrong. Hopefully your doctors will have compassion. You have two medical problems, a back problem and an addiction. Both have medical treatments. If the doctors don't see it that way, maybe it's time to get new doctors. Good luck.


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PostPosted: Sat Oct 23, 2010 8:57 pm 
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Thank you, Lilly. I definitely didn't plan well. I'm sitting here debating on whether or not to even go to my suboxone dr. on monday, or to just wean down and get off of everything. I have only been to him one time and am a little upset that he called my surgeon. I guess he was required to. I don't remember even telling him who my surgeon was. But anyway...I will figure it out before then. My goal is to be drug free and I am hesitant to get addicted to suboxone. I'm sort of on a rollercoater at this point on what to do.


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PostPosted: Sun Oct 24, 2010 11:41 am 
Many experiences on this forum have demonstrated that addicts tend to be undermedicated for pain (by doctors who think they are drug seeking) rather thanbeing given increased doses of pain medication that are called for when on Suboxone.
I think most people here wish that thier Sub doc would work with their surgeon to develop a plan for adequate pain management, like Dr. J does for his patients. Is it possible that your sub doc was contacting the surgeon to inform him of the considerations necessary for a Sub patient, not knowing that the surgery already took place? But if so, why wouldn't he clear it with you first? Because I am dealing with a situation involving some of the same issues, I hope you can find the answer and let us know what went on.
As far as whether you want to continue your Sub treatment, I guess you need to ask yourself how long you have been addicted to opiates, at what doses, and have you been sucessful in quitting without medical help, as well as what other options or support you have out there to keep you off of the drugs. If you want to post more about your addiction history, you will probably get some great feedback from the knowledeable people here.


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PostPosted: Sun Oct 24, 2010 9:37 pm 
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My guess is that the pharmacy probably called your sub doctor to ask him if he knew you were getting prescription from the surgeon for pain meds and possibly called your surgeon as well. Either way, there would be a conflict report that would go to both doctors and you wouldn't keep this one a secret for very long anyways. They would both know within days of you filling the 2nd script. I wouldn't worry about it. If the pharmacy called your sub doc, he would tell them he was in fact aware of it, and he probably just called the surgeon to let the surgeon know he wasn't being used for the drugs (knowing that he would get the conflict report) and to keep everything on the up and up. I didn't tell my primary doctor or my surgeon about the sub either. Told the sub doc about a surgery about 9 months in, and the surgeon and my primary both got the conflict report. Cat out of the bag. It was all good though in the end. They just want to look out for your health. Walk in and be honest about why you didn't tell the surgeon (just trying to keep your privacy in tact) and then move on. Keep your recovery first and foremost in your mind. Don't stop sub just because you made a mistake because that would only be an even bigger mistake.

It will be ok. You are a really new suboxone patient. They expect these things to happen. You will look so much better if you walk back into the sub doctor because you are still trying to get treatment. How is your pain level by the way?

Hang in there. You will be alright.

Cherie

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PostPosted: Mon Oct 25, 2010 1:37 pm 
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Thank you for your post. Well, I went to my sub dr. this morning and they had dismissed me as a patient. He called me back to speak with him and said that I had not told him anything about surgery. My jaw hit the floor. I went over our exact conversation about the surgery and apologized for not calling to tell him I had gone through with it. He just said if I had told him about it he would have written it down. He did have a list of the prescriptions I have had filled...so you are right about that! I told him that I am very serious about my recovery and all but begged him not to release me. He gave me enough suboxone for one month and told me to find a new doctor. I am stunned. He was totally judging me and made me feel like a complete loser. I don't know where to find a new doctor and am reluctant to go through this again! I am in the Savannah, Ga area so if anyone has any suggestions it would be greatly appreciated! Hopefully, if I am able to find someone to treat me, there won't be any of these issues because I've already had my surgery. My back is feeling better but my legs are killing me! Intense pain in my legs for some reason. The surgeon said the leg pain was from moving my nerves around and that it would go away. So far it hasn't. I appreciate everyone's imput. Thank you.


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PostPosted: Mon Oct 25, 2010 2:00 pm 
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OMG - I cannot believe he kicked you out of treatment!! Talk about zero tolerance....I'm sorry but that's ridiculous. I cannot tell you how sorry I am.

This is what you need to do: Check out these sub doctor locators: suboxone-directory.com (this is the one that's on our index page of this forum), suboxone.com, samhsa.gov, and naabt.org. Most of them allows you to put in your zip code and it will give you a list of the doctors in your area. Start making phone calls!!! I guess at least your doc gave you a month's worth, but still, he sounds like a real asshole. Again, I'm so sorry. Hang in there and let us know how finding a new doc goes. Oh and come back to vent here all you want - that's what we're here for.

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PostPosted: Mon Oct 25, 2010 2:01 pm 
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Actually, I think this is one of those times where the system worked the way it should. I'm all for privacy, but let's face it, addicts can, will and do abuse drugs in any way they can. There SHOULD BE more controls in place to prevent abuse.

My wife's sister died because she was able to get 90 OxyContin 30mg tablets from 4 different CVS Pharmacies in my state, from 4 DIFFERENT DOCTORS all within about 1 week. That should NEVER have been allowed to happen.

I would agree with the general consensus here that nothing illegal or even unethical has occurred here, but you really can't blame the sub doctor for calling your surgeon.

My PCP, who works in a very famous hospital in my area, has told me that suboxone has presented some HUGE challenges to them at the hospital because not every suboxone patient is always willing to disclose that they're taking it - for fear of discrimination/stigmatization.....

In my opinion -and this is just MY opinion folks- I think a prescriber of suboxone, who finds out that a patient is going to have invasive surgery that will require opiate pain management, should definitely be getting in touch with the surgeon who is going to be performing the operation. Again, I get the privacy concerns completely, but there has to be a balance between privacy and common sense, right?


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PostPosted: Mon Oct 25, 2010 4:08 pm 
junkie, I understand what you mean about controls needing to be in place to prevent abuse (and save lives), but I have to disagree that the system "worked" in this case. An addict seeking recovery got kicked out of treatment because his doctor "forgot" that the he told him about the surgery :roll

Cherie - I'm curious about the conflict report thing. If either of my doctors got one the day I filled both Suboxone and Oxycodone they never said anything. And I didn't tell my orthopedic Dr. that I was on Sub. I have to believe that he would have cut me off if he had received the report, but he continued to treat me for months after the accident.
Maybe it differs state by state?


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PostPosted: Mon Oct 25, 2010 4:22 pm 
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I for the life of me don't get this. Unless there is some piece to this puzzle that we don't know about, I don't know for the life of me what this doctor thinks he is accomplishing with this. Juststarting strikes me as a pretty honest person and I think he's telling us the truth. As I have espoused in a different thread, I generally have a pretty good BS detector. That said, it's only human nature to downplay our role in things, but even factoring that in, what is the "crime" here. This sounds to me like one of those "rules are rules" people. I am guessing that Juststarting signed a contract with his Sub doc that prohibited certain things and required others. I signed one as well as many others here likely have. Still, while a rule may have been broken, let's look at the intent here. Plus, what in the hell is ever gained by kicking someone out like this? I totally get that there has to be some rules involved and you can't let a patient have chance after chance after chance, but c'mon! What is this supposed to prove? What does this doctor gain? Clearly, what does this patient gain?

In the long run, you might be better off Juststarting. This doctor may not be the best fit for you or for treating addiction. I would really be interested to hear Dr. Junig's take on this. I did not see this one coming and it certainly again makes me wonder about the quality of some of these Sub docs. Wow! I guess, if nothing else, we have now seen multiple stories of docs not being given the 100% truth and the results of that - from simply neglecting to report being on Suboxone to this latest story. In this age of information, we really do have to believe that our docs are going to find out anyhow so we really need to be honest and bend over backwards to keep them informed.

As an aside, there is a web site that lists all of the states that have prescription monitoring systems in place and oddly enough, Georgia is only of only SIX STATES that do not have one. Or at least that's what they claim. How did this doc find out in this case?

I hope this will not set you back Juststarting. I really hope you can find a new and better doc. I would even go so far as to be honest with your new doc about exactly what happened and just become an open book. As the saying goes, those who have nothing to hide, will hide nothing. I really am sorry Juststarting. You did not need nor deserve this. Your former doctor needs a wakeup call!


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PostPosted: Mon Oct 25, 2010 5:17 pm 
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A couple of things I forgot to mention from today. The sub doctor walked out of the room and called my cell phone and hung up then came back in and said he had tried to get in touch with me to tell me I had been dismissed. The only phone call I received was the call confirming my appointment. I found that to be odd. He also had a certified letter addressed to me that had been dated on Friday, which he had me sign for. They had not mailed it yet. He didn't say a word about me not telling my surgeon about the suboxone he just told me that it was because I had filled an opiate rx after getting my suboxone rx. That is when I started pleading with him and explaining how I had stopped taking the suboxone before my surgery and that the only reason opiates had been filled was because of my surgery, etc... I have only had two prescriptions filled since my surgery and still have a refill sitting at the pharmacy that I have no intention of picking up. It all fell on deaf ears.


Last edited by juststarting on Mon Oct 25, 2010 6:44 pm, edited 2 times in total.

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PostPosted: Mon Oct 25, 2010 5:21 pm 
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I really appreciate all of the advice you guys have given me. Honestly, since I had only been on the subs for five days (I stopped taking them three days prior to surgery) I decided not to tell my surgeon. I know I should have been up front about everything. I just figured that I wouldn't be seeing him much longer. As far as the sub doctor... i didn't sign any contract. Also, he only had a list of the prescriptions that my insurance had paid for. Even going back before I ever started seeing him. Like I said, I'd only been to him once before today. I was just shocked that he actually said that I had not discussed my surgery with him. I even asked his advice on having/not having the surgery that day. His answer was just that if I had discussed it he would have written it down. I have not been to any other doctors searching for pain meds or done anything I shouldn't have in this case except of course the exclusion of information to my surgeon and not calling my sub doctor and telling him I had decided to go through with my surgery. My surgeon gave me sixty 10mg Norco's a week. That is way too much and I think he is trying to cover his ass as to why he was prescribing so much medication. I haven't spoken to my surgeon since all this happened. I did receive my hospital bill at just under $100,000 though. I am going to check out these sites and try to find a new and better doctor and just tell him the whole story and hope he has compassion. Thanks, guys! just reading all of the posts has made me feel a lot better and given me some hope! I am really glad to have found this forum.


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PostPosted: Tue Oct 26, 2010 12:28 pm 
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Dear Juststarting,

I wanted to jump in and add my sorrow and dismay about what has happened to you. As the other have said, I hope that you will pursue this matter and can find another doctor who will help you and be compassionate.

I became addicted to and dependent upon opiates as a result of chronic pain issues. I had a L5 S1 fusion about 5 years ago. I just wanted to say that as I look back, it really took a year to recover completely from that surgery. I don't know what kind of surgery you had, but for a fusion they usually do a bone graft and it takes time for that to heal down, and for the surgical swelling to decrease. Hopefully as time goes on your pain will subside. I have no back pain at all today!

I've been on Suboxone for over a year and it has changed my life, 100% for the better. I would hate to see you deprived of that option just because of some doctor's over-reaction. Just because he has an MD after his name does not necessarily make it right. They are human and make mistakes the same way we all do!

Please don't give up in your quest to find someone who can help you.

Sincerely,
Rossma


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PostPosted: Tue Oct 26, 2010 8:06 pm 
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Can't say I feel for you. As my friends on here know my family doctor of 20 yrs and I had a great relationship and I considered him a friend.
I was on a very high dose and quantity of Percocet for 7-8 years. A few months ago he made me sign a contract (after a doctor in a neighboring town lost his license for overpercscribing pain med) stating that I must come in for a pill count and urine test per their request. When they called me to come in, I couldn't do so and my doctor dismissed me as a patient. No more percocet (and my other medications) and I was left to find another doctor (which I'm really still working on) and start all over again.
We f**ked up. It sucks to be us. :evil:


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PostPosted: Tue Oct 26, 2010 8:28 pm 
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What a sad, sad commentary. Here we have two different doctors who's way of treating drug addiction is by dismissing their drug addicted patients from their practice. Their method of dealing with it was not to deal with it. What in the hell sense does this make?

We have a growing problem of opiate addiction in this country and no one seems to want to deal with it. The answer for law enforcement is to lock people up - including doctors. The answer for doctors is to stop prescribing opiates and get rid of addicted patients. Those addicts who do try to get help are often chastised, labeled, and looked down upon. Patients who do extremely well on Suboxone are often told they are still "using" and have just traded one drug for another. Doctors often think that a patient is better off constantly relapsing than to be on Suboxone, and pretty much everyone wants to ignore it all in hopes that it will just go away. Meanwhile, the rate of addiction continues to rise and more people die each year from drug overdose than the previous year.

What in the hell is going on?


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PostPosted: Tue Oct 26, 2010 9:35 pm 
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My doctor had no problem overprescribing opiates knowing where it would lead. I didn't need that much medication and I knew it. The problem is that when I realized it was becoming a problem it was too late. I was already addicted. Then I feel like he wanted to judge me and act like he played no part whatsoever in what has become of my life. I still haven't spoken to him, but the fact that I haven't heard from him tells me all I need to know. I kept telling myself that I would quit after my surgery. But my pills never lasted me and I was tired of being sick. When a friend told me about suboxone I could actually see the light at the end of the hopeless tunnel. I really have learned so much from everyone on this subject. I am determined to find another doctor to treat me on suboxone and never give up. I know that people say we are trading one drug for another. It was said to me when I first considered going this route. In my opinion, those people have no understanding of the physical addiction that comes from opiate use. I believe that suboxone can make the difference in my whole way of life. It's been a tough week, but I trust that things will turn out for the best. I hope so anyway! I want to add that I am in no way minimizing my role in all of this. I am not blameless here and I realize that. But I still feel that I was treated unfairly.


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PostPosted: Tue Oct 26, 2010 10:19 pm 
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I didn't mean to sound like a complete heartless a$$hole. Just letting you know I went throught the same thing. However, if that didn't happen, I would still be on pain meds and feel great one week, and wish I was dead the other 3 weeks out of the month. It was only a matter of time before my fistful at bedtime would've been the last.


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PostPosted: Wed Oct 27, 2010 7:09 am 
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Hello, Blue...I didn't take it that way. It sounds like you were treated terribly by your doctor that was a friend. I feel for you. No one should ever be put in this situation where the doctor slams the door in your face and leaves you to fend for yourself. I hope everything works out for you. I know exactly what you mean though...the more you take the more you need and it was only a matter of time for me, too. No offense taken!


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