Joke was on Me continued part 3

  1. LasVegasEd777
    It's now July of 2013, and every pharmacy within 100 miles of me was giving excuses for not filling my methadone like "they are about to stop making this, so we don't carry it anymore", and various other hilarious reasons. I had actually started to believe them, because they were all saying something similar.

    I soon found out via a "friend"/ pharmacist that I was on a DEA list for "suspected Rx abuse". Of course I thought, "what a joke" and went whining to Pete for a solution. He said that he was under fire from the DEA himself (no surprises there huh?) and that it would be a good idea to go back on the Subutex.

    I figured "why not", as I had tried it before and it made me feel "normal" anyway. Little did I know, it made me feel normal because it was just suppressing the effects of withdrawal, much in the way a benzo addict thinks he feels euphoria, not realizing that they are simply feeling good from not feeling anxiety etc.

    So, there I was, under the care of a supposedly extremely experienced doctor that did care about my welfare and about to "continue my medication", or so I thought.

    Many of you probably know that before anyone begins buprenorphine (Subutex) therapy, the patient should already be in a state of acute withdrawal. Certainly a doctor with decades of experience would know.

    With just a few methadone pills left, I paid him a visit and obtained an Rx for 90 8mg. Subutex. He said start off with 8mg. after ONE day off of the methadone and graduate up to 24 mg./day as I saw fit. Fair enough.

    So, with limited knowledge of precipitated withdrawal, I figured I'd better not only wait a day before taking the Subutex, but a day and a half for good measure. And I did just that.

    I remember 36 hours later sitting with my son in my living room watching something on TV and just having a good time shooting the breeze. I excused myself in order to go take that 8mg. Subutex. I placed it under my tongue, and it dissolved in about 4 minutes and I went back to join my son.

    I lasted about another minute, and suddenly began to feel super dizzy. I thought to myself "wow, this stuff is stronger than I remember", and told him that I wasn't feeling well, and went to my bedroom. As I left him, he had a look on his face of concern because a few seconds ago, I was all cheery and in a better than good mood.

    I made it to my bed, and the weird feeling of dizziness and disassociation began to increase to a now very uncomfortable state. I still had no idea of what was happening. Another couple of minutes passed, and it kept getting worse. I called out for my wife in the kitchen, which was not characteristic of me since the kitchen is almost out of "calling" range, and more like within shouting range.

    My wife arrived at my side and by now I thought I might be suffering from a heart attack. She watched me for about a minute and apparently had seen enough and promptly dialed 911. A few minutes later and I was writhing in agony. I was scared, confused and in severe pain all over my body. In came the fire/rescue squad and right away they hooked me up and began monitoring my vitals.

    With a confused look on his face, the senior officer looked at me and said that my vitals were normal. my wife freaked out and said "look at him, are you crazy?".
    They began asking all of the right questions about medication I had taken etc.
    What they failed to realize was that I was in a chronic state of precipitated withdrawals. By now, I couldn't even form a full sentence. They had all of my current medications in their hand and were still confused.

    By now, I was just beginning to realize what had happened. I told them that I thought it was from the Subutex. Because I couldn't form a full sentence, they still didn't understand why I was in so much distress. I remember one of them saying "It can't be the Subutex, this stuff is supposed to make you feel better."
    They offered to take me to the hospital but by then, I realized that I would most likely live and that the damage was done and there wasn't an antidote for my condition. The head guy said, "just tough it out there big guy". it seemed a bit insensitive of him, but what else could I do?

    After they left, I figured that my symptoms had reached their peak, and I would soon be feeling better. How wrong was I...
    I fell off the bed and crawled to the toilet and began vomiting incessantly. Little did I know it, but that would be the last time I would make it to my bed for the next three days.
    I went from throwing up, to sitting on the toilet with explosive diarrhea and back and forth. Sometimes I would vomit while sitting on the toilet I was so violently ill.
    I had short periods where I could lay on the bathroom floor where my poor distraught wife had placed some blankets. I can not overstate the agony I was in.
    There was nothing I could drink, let alone eat. I suffered from the chills and sweats and had vomited so much that nothing but blood was coming up. Likewise I was bleeding rectally as well.
    A kidney stone attack is a walk in the park compared to what I was going through because they only last for a matter of hours.
    I didn't sleep for three straight days because I was caught in a cycle of diarrhea, vomiting and lying on my bathroom floor with nausea like I never knew could exist.

    None of my symptoms even began to abate for three solid days. At times I truly wished I could commit suicide. I probably would have, if I had the strength to get off the floor. There was nothing my wife could do but change my towels, clean my mess, and watch helplessly. They say you don't truly feel alive until you are in pain. I'm not sure about that, because you could have fooled me. I thought I was in the seventh circle of Hell. To Be Continued...

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  1. chupamivergaguey
    C'mon -- I'm on the edge of my seat here!
  2. LasVegasEd777
    Sorry about that. It was a long and painful to relive experience. I hope you derive some wisdom from it. :thumbsup:
  3. LasVegasEd777
    I posted part 4, is it visible yet? That was around noon yesterday. Seems like it isn't according to my page.
  4. Loveluck29
    I can't see it yet. I must say, this is the best blog post I have ever read! As chupam said, I'm on the edge of my seat!!
  5. LasVegasEd777
    The Mods must be taking it easy for Sunday. If it isn't up by tomorrow morning, I'll post it here.
  6. chupamivergaguey
    Still on the edge of my seat here, but will check back during the week. And yeah, seems like a slow Sunday for mods -- my own blog is still off in limbo.
  7. LasVegasEd777
    To Hell with it. Lets see if it posts here...

    Trust me when I say the seventh circle of Hell is nowhere to be. The words used to describe the seemingly endless agony I was in seem too feeble.
    During this precipitated withdrawal torture, my wife had contacted the good doctor Pete. I was not able to get off the floor, let alone talk to him, so she did.

    From what she told me, he was genuinely concerned. However, little by little a fire began to build up inside of what had become a shell of my former existence.

    At the end of day three, I made my first attempt to get off of the floor. As soon as I got up, the now very familiar nausea returned with a vengeance. It had only abated just enough for me to get up in the first place. I literally had to practice for three hours, getting up just long enough to get sick again.

    I knew that things were not going to get much better until I resumed the Subutex. The methadone was now completely gone from my system.
    It was later that evening that I was finally able to make it to the kitchen and sit down and have my first sip of water. By now that little fire in me had grown somewhat, and the only entity I could focus my anger at was Pete. I was still however, way too weak to deal with his ass yet. For the next day all I was able to keep down was chicken broth. Let me tell you, that broth felt like a friggin' chicken dinner!
    Although the nausea would not go away for another two days, and because I was still to emaciated to directly confront Pete, I began a series of texting exchanges.
    At first I just wanted to let him know that I had come out the other side intact. His responses were friendly and with concern, but as I looked back at those days and nights I spent in Hell, I knew eventually I would need to confront him.

    Subutex is an expensive medication. Where I live, it averages $5.00 per pill. So, my first order was to secure a good supply via Pete before moving forward with my issues with him.
    I asked him for a script of 90 more Subutex. He was supposed to do the usual, and just call it in to the pharmacy. I would deal with the insurance.
    Instead, he did the unthinkable. He called one of his head nurses Jill. This woman, like almost all of the staff that ever worked for him, some of whom I got fired for crossing me, simply hated me. After all, I would show up like a big shot, and be called in immediately in front of any "real" patients, and sometimes we would get locked into super engaging conversations. At times, he would get a call from the front office with the staff pleading with him to speed it up so the other patients could see him. In hindsight, I was a complete shit for having such an arrogant attitude.
    So, this one fateful phone call that Pete made to Jill would prove to be both my and Pete's undoing.
    Jill immediately jumped on the opportunity, and ratted both of us out to Humana (my insurance company). She told them about all of the "free visits, early refills etc.". I found this out when my wife went to fill my Rx and they denied it. I called Pete, and he said "There's nothing I can do, it was denied". To which I replied, "what the fuck did you tell Jill for? You let the cat out of the bag!".

    Things began to get ugly real fast. I was stuck with a $400 prescription for medication I desperately needed as soon as my last Rx ran out. I was so used to overusing everything I ever got through him that I was essentially blind (at the time) to the fact that all I needed to do was wait until the Rx for the 90 that he initially gave me was gone, and Humana would re-imburse me. They just weren't going to give me 60 days worth of medication in 35 days. This is a shining example of the ignorance one possesses when given an open Rx for decades on end.

    Nonetheless, I went at it with Pete in a toe to toe text exchange. I asked him how he could do this to me. I told him that all of this was his fault for letting the cat out of the bag by bringing Jill into it. He really didn't have a counter to my argument. After an almost 24 hour exchange with him, about the nature of our friendship and business partnership(s), all I had done with and especially for him; He began to go on the defensive.

    I had not put him in a position where his medical license was at risk. Mind you, I met and befriended this man before my son was born. He had been a doctor since 1983 and I was threatening to undo it all, and was capable of doing it.

    His wife Stella was also a practicing child psychiatrist, and she tried opening a dialogue with my wife, but I put a quick stop on that.
    I told Pete that he should pick up the tab on the Subutex, since it was he after all that had screwed up. Because it was clearly not in his best interest to keep throwing money at me, and probably at the advice of his lawyer, he offered to write me a script for the Subutex strips. It was an old trick of ours to fool the insurance companies by changing the dose and/or form of the medication to get it filled early. Humana countered by saying the strips as well as the Suboxone were both not on their formulary.

    I had nothing but my own foolishness to blame for alienating my only direct pipeline for drugs from me. I continued my ranting's with Pete for about 2 weeks before I had nothing berating left to say to him. He kept trying despite my intense anger and threats to have me come back to one of the centers that he worked for and talk to another doctor. He claimed that this other doctor friend of his could pick up where he had left off, although in a more professional manner.
    In hindsight, if I had done that, I would still be a happy, functional junkie. sometimes I wish I had taken him up on his offer.

    It was over for me and Pete. A close, sometimes dangerously close friendship had come to pass.
    When I looked back, I thought of the times I ended up on a psychiatric ward for 2 weeks at a time twice. The first time, back in 1999 I took a handful of Oxycontin 100's along with about 30 lortab 10's, fifty Xanax 2mg. and a 300Ml bottle of chloral hydrate in a suicide attempt. I was having trouble with my wife. I had missed picking up my 5 year old son from kindergarten and a neighbor brought him by the house. She let him in, and started to walk away. My son came to my bedroom where he had discovered me near death, and ran back to get my neighbor. She dialed 911 in the nick of time, as I had died once on the operating table. As I look back and share this particular experience with you, I am fighting back tears. If it weren't for my 5 year old namesake, I would be dead. Guilt still consumes me to this day.

    My second stay in the psych ward was because I had been depressed to the point of psychosis, and good ol' Pete just kept flooding me with anything I wanted just like in 1999. This episode was in 2005. I held a machine gun to first my self, then to my son and the rest of my family. I had no intention of acting out violently, but I scared the living shit out of everyone, and my wife called the police. I had ditched the gun, and was driving around my neighborhood aimlessly. Inevitably, a cop came up on me and performed a felony stop. Before I knew it, I had three shotguns a foot from my head.
    That episode earned me the coveted Legal 2000 and I was involuntarily committed to an institution for another 2 weeks.
    In my life, partly thanks to the help of Pete, I had gone from working on one side of the line of mental health, to being a patient on the other.
    Did Pete skip a beat with the drugs? Of course not! Our most active time was after 2005.

    Fast forward to 2013. A month after my last encounter with Pete, I decided to check up on him. He had been fired from the facility that he was acting medical director at. I asked the CEO of one of them, and he confirmed that Pete's dismissal was because of me.

    If any of you have read my thread about going back on methadone from Subutex, then it is at this time that I decided that I wasn't done with Pete. Suffice it to say that by the time I had it out with Harmony Healthcare, Pete's former employer, I was threatening them with liability for allowing Pete to work for them. Needless to say, I am being treated "extra special" by them now. When I had a meeting with their CEO, I was asked if they should report Pete to the medical board. I said no, as the damage was done, and the only work he has now is as a prison doctor at Indian Springs where he is not allowed to give out narcotics.

    Pete had to short sell his house in Las Vegas, give up his private practice in Pahrump, NV and sell his vacation properties in the Philippines all because of a small lapse in judgment.

    My family, and particularly my son have forgiven me for my past deeds. Without their forgiveness, I would have nothing to live for. For that, I love them all with all of my heart.

    I guess it's all for the better at least for me anyway. In a way, it is for Pete too. After all, he can't "kill" (those are his words) anyone anymore. Conversely, I have been perfectly stable psychiatrically since 2005. Under the professional guidance of my current doctor I have made it down to .5mg./day of Subutex and no longer foster a Xanax addiction. Still, I am currently in the battle of my life as a direct result of having a doctor that just happened to be my best friend.
    There are several untold aspects of this story. My activities were more widespread than those mentioned here. This is but an extract of the whole story. Perhaps I will be able to tell it all some day without fear of legal retribution.

    I hope my story is a cautionary tale to those who might find themselves in a similar situation. I thought I was invincible. I thought it would never end. I found out The Joke Was On Me.
  8. Alka_holic
    Thank you, was very informative.
  9. chupamivergaguey
    I've found this story completely compelling -- seriously you've had me on the edge of my seat since the first installment. My own path has been vaguely different but the common denominator is always the same: drugs. I had various habits before I moved next door to some government projects that housed the old, injured, and infirm who had tons of meds but no way to get money through honest means. You can guess how that panned out for a while at least. My version of Pete ended up dead (and lucky me, I was the last one to see him alive, so his brothers thought I had something to do with it.) Boomeranging through AA for a few years kept me from pursuing the things I would have rather pursued at the time .... hey wait a sec -- Why the hell am I opening up to a complete stranger about personal business? I'll just leave it at this -- you have an amazing story and I wish you well. By all means, keep writing about it as long as it doesn't trigger too much! I hate smilies but ... :applause:
  10. LasVegasEd777
    I'm very glad you have found my story both interesting and more importantly, helpful.
    BTW, we are not such strangers after all. There are many parallels in our lives, and if you ever need advice, or just someone to chat with, hit me up. I care.
  11. chupamivergaguey
    Eventually I'm gonna run out of AH. Part of the reason I've been hitting DF a lot lately. Bluelight's been fairly useless on the topic. Looking for info on what to expect and providing it as I go. Had some great bloodwork done and posted it, but no responses. No human who has kicked this stuff is talking about it in the forum sites. Plus the damn moderators seem to have stopped working lately, leaving my blog posts and requests for advice on where to post in the RC area unanswered. RCs have different rules about posting and I'm trying to figure out a posting strategy that actually gets responses instead of getting buried with all the other posts nobody knows anything about. Anyway, that's my current situation -- not too bad but clouds on the horizon. Best guess, based on previous abstinence, is that it's going to be like jumping off methadone and/or a benzo for a while.
  12. Alka_holic
    Thanks, that's cool of you to offer. I will take you up in that sometime.
  13. cren
    thanks so much for writing this. You have been through alot.
  14. LasVegasEd777
    Just for comparative reasons, AH7921 is about 80% the strength of morphine. By contrast, Subutex is 40 times stronger than morphine. IF, it follows that the weaker the opioid the weaker the symptoms of withdrawal, then you will not be in for the same ride as someone trying to kick either buprenorphine or methadone.
    With that said, I have heard that people stuck on Tramadol which is roughly 1/10th the strength of morphine suffer severe withdrawal symptoms. The only correlating factor I am aware of is the duration and intensity of you addiction prior to running out.
    AH7921 is (IMHO) an exotic narcotic analgesic even though it was discovered in the 70's. Nonetheless, I still think all narcotics follow the same rules, for lack of a better term, when it comes to w/d's. Whether the opiate/opioid is an Mu or a µ-opioid agonist, the result of running out is nearly the same.
    As with all repeated narcotic use, the brain produces more receptors, but down regulates them all and when all of those receptors are "hungry", they scream at you. I am currently right in the middle of attempting to step off of my Subutex. 2 days ago I took .5mg yesterday I took .25mg. and now I am feeling it. It's like my body is attached to 2 electrodes, one in my head and the other in my toe and electricity is coursing through my body with a low but noticeable current. I am not at this point suffering from the sweats, nausea etc. probably because I have gabapentin, Lyrica, Valium and clonidine at my disposal. The odds are against me, but I'm up for the fight.

    You might want to take this opportunity in your life to step off and be free from the Dragon. If you are still too deep in, then find anything you can get your hands on that will ease your pain.

    Good luck.
  15. chupamivergaguey
    So far the opioid part of the WDs doesn't really last more than 72 hours. It's the weird characteristically AH part that starts up while a little diarrhea and sneezing are on their way out. Has some stuff in common with benzo WD, and from what I can gather, possibly SSRI WD, though I have never WDed from SSRIs. Brain zaps, but more of a "sub-zappy" feel, like a brain zap could occur if it wanted to. I read stories of people claiming liver damage from the stuff but my own labs show different, which I'm happy to know. Thanks for your support -- reading about other people's suffering gets me out of my head and in your case, makes my own suffering seem miniscule!
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