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 Post subject: Worst month of my life
PostPosted: Mon Feb 02, 2015 4:54 am 
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This covers as couple of of topics so move if needed. So this happened to me. I have been on Suboxone for about 7 years with the same doctor who also was my psychiatrist. The Monday before Christmas I slip on some spilled water at my i laws house. It was excruciating for about an hour and then settled down to a manageable stiffness. A couple of Tylenol sufficed. On Tuesday I had my group Suboxone meeting which in my opinion is the most beneficial aspect of treatment. So I show up, take the drug screen and take a seat. I noticed that the office staff is running around like chickens with their heads cut off. The nurse steps in and with great difficulty informs us that Dr. X has passed away. They didn't tell us how he died but by not telling us HOW he died like in a car accident or heart attack I immediately new that my friend and doctor had punched his own ticket. Needless to say I/We were devistated. The nurse told us that all of our prescriptions would be filled by his wife who is also a psychiatrist. The next day I called in a favor at the DA's office and was told "he apparently took his own life. I knew he and his wife had separated but had NO IDEA what that he was in so much pain that he left two beautiful children three days before Christmas. Needless to say I was shocked and sad. He was compassionate, empathetic doctor.
That night I go to the ER to have my wrist looked at. It was a small fracture and was put in a soft cast.
One of my chief pain issues is severe gout. Whenever I have a bad bump or accident I develop gout along with whatever else I did.
Christmas morning at 6 a.m. I am at the ER with a gout attack in the wrist and the cast comes off. Massive amounts of indocin is prescribed along with steroids. Along with the gout I have large Tophi on my elbows the size of baseball. Tophaceous gout creates large deposits of uric acid to build up in the joints. Well the next day the one on my right elbow ruptures. Imagine Willy Wonka's idea of the never ending zit. Push on it and a blast of whit gunk comes out.
Whenever I needed to get off Suboxone for a surgery I would have to wait about 5 days for the Suboxone to get out of my system so narcotics would work. My doc would call the surgeon, explain the Suboxone problem and that he would handle my post-op pain. He would ask the surgeon what he would normally prescribe and double or triple it because most surgeons are not aware of the tolerance we would have and would under Medicate.
Well, I was afraid to stop the Suboxone because Doctor x was not with us anymore, and I could handle the pain.
Friday morning. I awake with a 103 degree fever and a right arm twice it's normal size. Of I go to the ER and am informed by the Orthopedist that I was going to have surgery at noon. Well you can imagine my anxiety that I was going to have some major surgery and that no amount of morphine was going to work post-op. The doc said if I waited for the Suboxone to get out of my system I would be dead of septic shock. I will tell you the Anathesiaologist tried, she really did. Nothing would kick the Suboxone out of their receptors. The only thing they could do was keep me heavily sedated. I sucked it up and was in a state of dream/reality and was miserable. I had always been afraid of that situation. But made it through it. I got a call from my docs office last weak when I picked up my prescription that the practice would be closed as of the first of this month and would have to find a new doctor. I was given a list of other doctors and wished good luck.
I'm sure you are all sick of my boo-hoo story, but I really needed to put this down in writing. I developed great patient/ doctor relationship. We were the same age and knew a lot of the same people in highschool. If I called him and said hello Doctor x he knew it was a call about medical stuff. If I called and said hey ( first name) it was friendship mode. Same protocol if he called me. I think I have been through all the stages of grief twice since that day. I know I rambled a bit, but thank you all for allowing me to spew.


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PostPosted: Mon Feb 02, 2015 8:34 am 
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Topher

I am so sorry to hear your doctor took his own life. That is always a double shock imo. Sounds like you are grieving the passing of a friend & a doctor you trusted. The hardest part when someone takes their own life is why...rarely is there an answer.

You really did have a BAD month. Have you found a new sub doc? Will the group continue or was that through the doctor's office?

I don't know what i can say except I feel for you. Writing can be therapeutic so keep writing and let the healing continue.

So very Sorry for you loss


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PostPosted: Mon Feb 02, 2015 12:12 pm 
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Hi Topher,

I'm glad you decided to post. Of course we aren't tired of hearing your sob story! Believe me, this is something all of us fear. I so wish this treatment wasn't so hard to get, and that the good doctors weren't so hard to find.

Tiki is right, you have definitely received a double blow here.

I was thinking about the group that you loved so much during your treatment with Dr. X. Do you think it would be possible for you to keep that group going on your own? I know that you will all probably be scattered out between different doctors in the end, but there's no reason you all can't form your own support group between you. It would help not only with the suboxone and recovery, but also with the grief you all must be feeling over loosing such a wonderful doctor and friend. Just a thought.

Welcome to the forum. I hope you find a new doctor very soon.

Q

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PostPosted: Tue Feb 03, 2015 12:50 am 
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Thanks for all of the kind words and excellent advice. To answer a few of your questions. No, I haven't found a new doctor yet, but tomorrow I will have all morning to make some call. As to wether we will try to keep our group together, yes, we will try to keep our particular group together. My particular group always met at the same meeting each month because we all would be out of our meds at the same time. The group I was in was the first Suboxone group (about 15 of us) to learn of his passing. One girl had the presence of mind to recognize the fact that all of us have been together for several years because his Suboxone practice had the maximum number of patients allowed by law and very few patients left treatment because of either wanting to be off of Suboxone or left because they were not ready and went back to using. Even though we only met 12 times a year for 2 hours, we figured it averaged out to roughly 72 hours spilling our guts together. We all decided that we didn't want to break up a very close knit group that was comfortable with each other. One girl sugested that even though we all were going to be seeing different M.D.'s, we wanted to keep our group together and meet together once a month. We decided that there were a couple of places we could meet discretely and the public library seemed to be a good place to start. There are private rooms that can be booked at no cost, so we elected the most responsible person out of us to be our secretary and keep us all in contact with each other. When I first started the program and learned that we would have to attend one 2 hour group meeting a month the first thought that came to mind was "aw s**t".
Well after a couple of months in the program I realized that the most important aspect of the program was the group therapy because unlike AA, everyone there had the same problem. OPIATE addiction. Sure a lot of the people in the group had cross addictions with other drugs or alcohol, but everyone's main demon was opioid addiction and you could relate to everyone's problems. So I am thankful for the fact that we all will stick together and not be thrust into a new and different program. Losing our Doc puts us all in a very unique fraternity. Sure, a lot of us didn't give a hoot wether we died or not when we were using, when rock bottom smacked us in the face we all went to treatment because we didnt want to die. I can tell you one thing, when I decided to live rather than die, I put my full faith in my doctor. He helped me claw my way back to the real world, the world of the living, and how to cope with the demons that made me use opiates to escape the pain of life. When he punched his own ticket for whatever reason, it left all of us reeling and scared. If the person who showed us how to cope with pain of life couldn't keep it together how could we? Well my group of friends and I are going to keep his vision alive and hopefully make him proud of us from his perch in Heaven.


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PostPosted: Tue Feb 03, 2015 6:03 am 
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Hey Topher :)

Wow what a unique experience u have had. I am very sorry for the loss of ur Dr. Sometimes we forget that doctors are just as human as us and unfortunately things like this happen. I am very glad to hear that u and ur group will continue meeting. I have to attend meetings at my clinic also. I absolutely love this group because it's led by our clinic counselor along with about 10-12 other patients like me every week. I'm not required to go every week since I have been there long enough to only go once a month. I def go more than I'm required to because I have found that sitting in a circle with ppl who has issues just like me and has chosen the same tools I have....it's awesome. If I had to stop my meetings, I'd be pretty unhappy about it and would hope that if something bad happened, we'd try to go on with our meetings like u guys are. I also think the relationship u had with ur Dr was nice hearing about. Again, I'm sorry for ur loss but keeping that meeting going is not only great for u and ur peers, but what an amazing tribute to ur doctor/ friend.

Welcome to.the forum Topher!!!!!

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PostPosted: Tue Feb 03, 2015 12:02 pm 
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I have to admit, that choked me up a little bit, Topher.

I'm proud of you and your group for being so dedicated to your doctor and each other. I'm sure you are going to be just fine.

Another big welcome to our forum. I believe you will be a great addition and I hope you post often. :D

Q

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