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.
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Joke was on Me part 4