Yesterday I had my second visit with my newest Subutex Doctor. It went badly, the following is a letter to the doctors boss. Read the writing in Green first. This was a response from the CEO to my letter following my first visit with the doctor.
Hello Mr. (bleep), 9/4/14
Honestly, I thought that IF I ever needed to contact you again, it would be under happier circumstances.
So as to avoid any unneeded drama at this time, I would like to keep this communication between yourself and me. (Please do not forward this e-mail to Dr. (bleep) at this time.) If you look down to line 2 of your statement to me below, you said that Dr. (bleep) would help me wean SLOWLY off Subutex.
Now to clarify, I made my intentions very clear that I did and still do indeed want to rid myself of this terrible addiction.
I also said that I wanted to do it over the course of a month. What I did not know however, was that I was making some sort of a binding "deal" as Dr. (bleep) told me yesterday. As you know, I was given 17 two milligram Subutex to wean from 2mg./day down to .5mg. at which point I was supposed to stop cold turkey. In theory this sounded like it just might work, in practice it did not. I did manage to make it down to .5mg/day. When I saw Dr. (bleep) yesterday, I explained to him that when I tried to stop, I did not sleep for a total of 72 hours. In all, I was only able to go without Subutex for 50 hours. My wife noticed that I was beginning to hallucinate and show what she perceived as signs of impending psychosis. I was adamant in telling Dr. (bleep) that forcing me into psychosis can be dangerous to both myself and others. I also reminded him of my two most recent psychiatric hospital stays (The second one involving a machine gun and my family resulting in a legal 2000). I have a long history of psychosis dating back to the early 90’s with several hospital stays.
Dr. (bleep) and I discussed these matters quite heatedly before he reversed his decision not to give me anymore Subutex, to prescribing me 7 more pills along with a promise that there would not be a third prescription.
Mr. (bleep) , I don’t expect a mere doctor to understand the grip of addiction to the extent that an addict does. After all, one can not know a thing unless he has experienced it, correct? I’m quite sure that Dr. (bleep) would change his tune quite rapidly if he had been on 80-115mg. methadone per day for almost 2 decades and then told he had a month to quit.
I was told by Dr. (bleep) that it is not the policy of HHC to maintain anyone on Subutex. If not, why prescribe it at all? It was engineered to prevent relapse, and is approved by the FDA for anything from short term to indefinite use.
I’m not asking for indefinite prescriptions, but when I walk into his office and report that I successfully quartered my dose, and the first thing he tells me is "I’m not prescribing you any more Subutex", please understand that I have once again found myself peeved with Dr. (bleep) .
I don’t believe you are a doctor, but I know, and admire that you are a recovered addict. But, I have to wonder if you managed to stop everything in one month? I don’t need an answer to that, just something to ponder.
This is my impression of what is going on. You sir, have nothing to do with any aspect of what bothers me about this situation. On the other hand, I truly feel that Dr. (bleep) is either trying to "one up" "Pete's" mistakes by "curing" his former patient in short order; Or he is getting back at me for the obvious embarrassment I caused him (quite unintentionally) when he was forced to apologize to me in front of you-his employer.
Any reasonable doctor would have made an honest attempt to stabilize his patient before proceeding with the taper. In fact, he did- but only after I practically demanded another 7 pills citing the fact that I simply can not go 3 days without sleep.
During our heated exchange, he more or less forced my hand by agreeing to go to an inpatient hospital if I can’t make it another 28 days on those 7 pills.
Now I have to contemplate yet another stay in a psych ward, and for what? TRYING to be a "better person"?
I just want to hear it from you that it is not at all possible that it is my best interest that I be maintained for enough time so that I don’t always have a "deadline", or a "deal" looming over my head. How much harm am I doing myself by taking a piece of Subutex so small that you could place 6 of them on a dime and still see silver?? I ask you, should my family have to put up with the many burdens of my absence due to yet another hospital stay?
I’ll be perfectly honest with you Mr. (bleep) . I’m beginning to regret even attempting to detox from this stuff. As I told Dr. (bleep) , I could quite easily have just gone elsewhere and found another "Pete", or even a more professional doctor that would follow the Subutex protocols and wean me Slowly. Being told that I have "an unusual sensitivity to withdrawal" is tantamount to being called a sissy. You know what, I have only lost one fight in my entire life, and have put many men in the hospital. The one fight I did lose, was with Subutex and now it is threatening to put me in the hospital. I am not emotionally ready for that. When I was hospitalized on 2000 I was ok upon admittance, but when I was mistakenly taken off of 8mg. Xanax, I went into a psychotic state that was so severe that the doctors told my wife I may never recover. I have no memory of this three day event, but I was strapped to a table (5 point restraint) and my poor wife was horrified. By the way, "Pete" never missed a beat, and had yet several more Rx’s (Xanax etc.) ready for me upon my release, yet never once visited the hospital to check my status. I DO NOT want to go through that again.
Prior to my visit with Dr. (bleep) yesterday I had a standing appointment with Dr. Alana (bleep) (therapist) for tomorrow. I cancelled it, since I figured -"what’s the point"? If my doctor has it in for me, then why even try to get better?
With all that’s going on, my mind keeps reminding me of how much I enjoyed my life prior to going below the 1mg. threshold. Now I hate my life. I also hate myself. I’m clearly a failure. What makes this all the worse is that I have an unusually high IQ yet, the one medication that was keeping me stable is causing me to unravel intellectually. My abilities to program computers, and my studies and article about the Multiverse Theory are becoming completely incomprehensible.
I feel like I walked myself right into a steel trap by trying to justify my need for Subutex by telling Dr. (bleep) what he wanted to hear.
(bleep) , I want my life back. I feel like a pawn. Trust me when I say it is a two way street with Dr. (bleep) and myself. There is no love lost. He clearly does not like me. I have known several doctors in my life, and he clearly has no good "intentions for my care".
In a perfect world, I would remain with HHC since it was, after all "Pete" that helped me into this mess in part via HHC.
Likewise, I would be overwhelmingly happy if I could see another impartial doctor that was willing to give me the required drug urinalysis and prescribe me a maintenance dose until I was ready to wean down further, if at all.
At that point, I would be happy to see Dr. (bleep) (therapist), and hopefully some day rid myself of addiction- The correct way for me.
If you think I am being unreasonable in even suggesting being put on a maintenance schedule, then I suggest you either read up on the official Subutex web site and/ or consult with a few other doctors for a general consensus.
If I have to, I will seek help elsewhere, but in doing so I will make a formal request that "Pete" be reported to the medical board by HHC for violating my rights under the (censored).
I have performed exhaustive research on my particular situation with regards to my chances of relapse if improperly treated. The odds are 99% not in my favor. When you factor in my psychiatric issues, and the fact that I have been completely stable while on a maintenance dose of Subutex, logic dictates that you shouldn’t mess with success.
Mr. (bleep) , I have nothing but the utmost respect and admiration for you. I can talk to you, and know that you have indeed experienced addiction therefore, unlike Dr. (bleep) you can know it. Maybe I’m lesser of a man than you, but nonetheless I am a human being with thoughts, feelings and emotions. I feel in my heart of hearts that Dr. (bleep) is holding my livelihood in his hands, and from what I see, his grip is not firm.
I look forward to your knowledgeable, honest reply.
Sincerely, Edward (bleep)
CEO's letter to me that I cited for the above response 7/29
I have spoken with Dr. (bleep) about your session. It sounds as though there is some misunderstanding as to his intentions for your care. He is willing to assist you in getting off all narcotics and weaning slowly off Subutex. Please don’t allow your phobias to prevent you from getting the help you need and want- to get free from your chemical dependency. We have no ulterior motive. We are taking the necessary actions and reporting to the Medical Board based on your statements. Please let me know if you would prefer coming into my office in person, or if you will take my call. Thanks, Allen (bleep) CEO HHC