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PostPosted: Wed Sep 16, 2015 1:01 am 
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Hello,

I will try to make this short. Last year July 4th 2014 I was tapering and got myself down to about 1mg per day while my doc was still prescribed me 3mg daily. On that day my soul mate passed on in a tragic accident, not drug related. Per my grief councilor and psychologist we stopped the weaning and I went back to 3mg.

This past year is the most emotionally unstable I have ever been, including my using years, and I am flat out petrified to completely wean off. The loss hit me hard and despite all of my best efforts to not isolate myself I end up isolated and alone. I've tried calling people from meetings, etc. Frankly I think people just don't want to be around someone so depressed all the time...which in turn feeds the depression.

This leads me to my predicament...I have an appointment with the Dr tomorrow and he scheduled me 2 weeks after I would run out of medicine because he messed up and wrote a script for 8mg a few months back that my mother filled and apparently kept 'just in case'. So the last visit the Dr wanted me to wean again and more or less told me he was forcing weaning on me. I figured I would try this wean again. Long story short the wean didn't work out well, I ended up out of medicine and by the grace of God my mom still had the 8mg strips from months back. This was a much needed wakeup call that I am in no way ready to wean off yet. I'm not comfortable even at the 2mg level he had me at but do my best with that.

Yesterday I was demoted at work and now I'm fearing my Dr appointment tomorrow. Had I relapsed I feel like he would have probably started me over or had me back as a new patient as its been so long but I didn't relapse and I don't want him to think I'm drug seeking with a maintenence drug considering each of the past 3 visits I have told him I am not mentally prepared to wean off yet.

Any suggestions on how to approach him and not allow another wean? Should I just tell him I took the subs he wrote months ago as 8mg instead of 2mgs? He is likely going to suggest 1mg a day again and I'm in no way comfortable with less than 2 a day at this time in my recovery and mental state.

Any advice would be greatly appreciated!


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PostPosted: Wed Sep 16, 2015 1:35 am 
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Hey Subsavedme and welcome!!

I'm so very sorry for ur loss. I can't imagine the pain that you've had to go through losing ur soulmate. That alone could have caused a relapse, so I'm dang proud of u for sticking with ur sub honestly. I'm sure tapering isn't the best thing for u right now. I also know when some doctors get tapering on their mind, it's hard to change it. With everything u have gone through, if I were u, I'd tell ur Dr exactly what u just told us. I think being 100% honest is best. Nobody can blame u for feeling fragile right now and I'd hope ur Dr will completely understand that. Tell him ur afraid of relapse and you'd like to be bk on 3mg, at the very least stay at the 2mg ur on now.

If ur doctor still doesn't understand or listen to u, can u look for another one, is that an option for ya? The loss of a loved one and the depression ur feeling should be taken very seriously and I'd hope that anyone would understand that. So yeah, tell him the truth about it all, that's the only way he'll be able to understand it. Good luck and please let us know how it goes.

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PostPosted: Wed Sep 16, 2015 2:03 am 
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I am in fact an addiction counselor as well as a recovering opiate abuser. I also went through major losses at the time I was trying to get clean. I lost my mother and my father three weeks apart. At the same time I had chosen to get off of hydrocodone after years of abuse. There is no way I would have made it had it not been for my MD being supportive, and compassionate at such a delicate time. Whether you are just beginning the recovery process as was in my case or somewhere farther along as with yourself, you are probably experiencing some depression from coming off of the opiates and then add your lose to the equation - wow! Been there done that. My prayers go out for you. Indeed tell him how you managed by having the back up. And tell him just as you described here. Have no fear of what you "feel" he may be thinking. Matters not. He is treating you and he cannot do so correctly unless he knows what is truthfully going on. You are legitimately trying to stay clean. You got this far, and I am sure he notices this, and probably has drug screened you at various points along the way. He knows you are serious about staying clean. Suboxone is how you are beginning this journey. Many Doctors vary on when to wean off. I even know some in our agency that states a person could be on suboxone for sometime. This is an individual thing so you cannot apply numbers to this. You are clean. Ask him to do a thorough drug screen on you if it makes him feel better. The only thing he should find is suboxone. I just cannot, under the circumstances, see him/her not taking care of you the proper way. Do not fret.

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PostPosted: Wed Sep 16, 2015 1:05 pm 
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I hate to be the only one in this position.... but I hear, so often, about doctors doing incredibly bad things to patients. I see patients who get kicked out from other practices for a range of minor problems. I get particularly angry at doctors who discharge patients for an isolated episode of use of an opioid-- a clear indication that the disease is still there, that some docs use to STOP treatment!

In this case I hope the doc is capable of hearing the story without reacting negatively. I don't encourage lying-- but at the same time, the reality is that some docs have 'zero tolerance' policies-- a ridiculous concept that is fine for treating a clinic's 'numbers', but a horrible approach to treating addiction.

I fear that your disclosure of using the 8 mg dose will lead to problems. In my area, many patients are out there using heroin because a doc with a poor understanding of addiction tossed them to the curb... and there are no other docs available. Whatever you do, I hope for the best-- and I agree that honesty is important to maintaining sobriety... assuming you are working with fair people.


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PostPosted: Fri Sep 18, 2015 9:35 pm 
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Wise council, Dr. Junig, although I know we both appreciate the standards that Mark supports. I'm probably a little jaded too, Mark, because I've been on this forum long enough to have heard the horror stories. I will make sure that my clients never have to fear retribution from me for making a mistake in recovery, but doctors are not necessarily experts in addiction recovery. Some of them have just taken an 8 hour class that barely gives enough information to induct a patient properly, let alone know what to expect from an opiate addict. I'm sure that Dr. Junig tries to educate other doctors all the time, but sometimes the motives of some doctors are not clear. If a doctor has a purely financial motive for having suboxone clients, he or she will not hesitate to axe a patient who is not totally compliant.

Amy

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PostPosted: Fri Sep 18, 2015 10:07 pm 
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Hi, I am a believer in telling the truth because it almost always comes back to bite you in the butt! That being said, you know your Doctor. Has he/she been compassionate with you regarding your loss and how difficult it was/is for you? It is a crippiling fear of mine, losing my husband! I can not imagine that pain. I watched my mom and dad fight and he stormed out and had a car accident that killed him. She never remarried. I was 4 yrs old. I saw her pain and knew I never wanted that. It almost stopped me from ever having a serious relationship. I am a social worker. After 9/11 I worked with families who had lost someone. I could easily work with the kids and say to them and their parents that they would be ok because I was. I could not work with the spouses because I dont know how you move past that kind of pain! My Mom became a physically and emotionally abusive alcoholic. My sub doc is amazing! She listens to everything I say and supports my decisions. I have tapered my dose several times and she knows that I have a backup supply. I am at 8mgs now and want to go to 6mgs. I know if I have to cut a strip, I probably will not do it. I am going to ask if she would write the script for 2mg strips 4 times a day. Or, two 2 mg strips twice a day. Then I will start by eliminating one strip. When ok at 6mgs I will drop another 2mgs. I hope she will agree to this. I don't have a plan for being completely done with suboxone as it does help me in so many ways! But, I would like to be taking the least amount possible. Thanks for listening!


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PostPosted: Fri Sep 18, 2015 10:51 pm 
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I think you are amazing and just wanted you to know that you keeping with your sobriety through such a tragic ordeal is inspiring.

I too have feared coming clean to my dr so scared he would give me the boot. I think you have to tell him the honest truth though it sounds like if you don't and he drops you, this could repeat itself all over again next month. I agree that if you can find another dr it might be wise but I understand that might not be an option.

I will keep you in my prayers that all works out. Please let us know what happens.


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Dr. Jeffrey Junig, M.D., Ph.D.

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