Ignorance in hospitals and its toll on suboxone patients

Why didn't you like medication-assisted treatment? Do you have to be abstinent to be in recovery? Why is the anti-Suboxone crowd so angry?
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downreg'd4now
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Ignorance in hospitals and its toll on suboxone patients

Post by downreg'd4now » Sat Oct 20, 2018 1:47 pm

I've had to consider the possibility of having surgery in the coming weeks, and the lack of understanding about Buprenorphine in the medical community is terrifying! There's ignorance and there's also straight up prejudice towards any patients with the words "addict" or "dependancy" or "Suboxone" appearing in their charts. There seems to be no shortage of stories from people on this site who have been humiliated and forced to withstand post op pain without proper and appropriate use of full agonist meds. There seems to be a standard of care which is able to be short circuited by over-tired, ignorant and opinionated- ICU nurses, ER nurses, hospitalist MD's, various specialists etc. who harbor huge amounts of animosity towards patients who are dependant on opiates. The assumption of course, is that patients are always lying about or overstating their level of pain. This can manifest itself in many forms, from the nurse who is extra vigilant, to the one who is verbally abusive and shaming toward a vulnerable person who is in pain and trying to heal. If you have an injury like a fracture visible on an x-ray or pain from a surgical procedure, then usually you are at least believed. If however, you've got something going on which is more subjective, then it is much more likely that your pain could be under treated or not treated at all. The scary thing is that most people taking a Buprenorphine med have felt the need to omit that from their medical history when going to the hospital for treatment. It's one thing to be treated rudely, but to be denied appropriate pain management is another thing altogether. So how many patients taking Buprenorphine will delay or avoid seeking medical treatment because of this fear? I most recently had a clusterfuck of a situation when going for a colonoscopy because the GI doctor doing the test and his own nursing staff weren't on the same page where procedural anesthesia and Suboxone patients were concerned. Two days of prep shot to hell, and I was blamed and shamed because they gave me the wrong information. I was told that some people do the procedure without sedation and was fine doing it that way. The GI doc said "no, you can't because of the 'med' you take." That was a new one on me- I couldn't go WITHOUT the IV Versed and Fentanyl because i was taking Suboxone?
I really would like to know at this point, what can I do to make sure that I have done my due diligence to ensure that I will be treated according to the standard of care, and have a back up plan such as a second hospital to be transported to in case the nightmare scenario presents itself? I feel as though I need to consult with an attorney specialising in medical malpractice so that I at least know what to expect, and what to do when those expectations are not met. The problem gets much more complicated when I'm lying in the hospital bed, unable to advocate for myself. How can I best arm my family members with the information they need and the moxy sometimes required when dealing with hospital staff. Some of the stories I've read on this site are enough to make anyone go to desperate lengths to be treated with dignity and appropriate pain mngmt. I even read about a guy who had his buddy score street opiates to augment the hospital's tylenol and Toradol during a rough shingles outbreak. The most ideal thing would be to have a shrewd and strong advocate who has good knowledge of law and medicine. Not many people have access to that level of advocacy unfortunately.

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Amy-Work In Progress
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Re: Ignorance in hospitals and its toll on suboxone patients

Post by Amy-Work In Progress » Sun Oct 21, 2018 2:47 pm

All of your points are valid and echo many stories told here regarding insufficient pain relief post surgery and in other cases of acute pain. I would like to see this article in the hands of EVERY doctor!!

http://suboxonetalkzone.com/bupe.postop.pain.pdf

Anyone who needs to discuss this issue with their doctor because of an upcoming surgery, I suggest you print this article out and take it to them! Have them put it in your file. Because this is a scholarly article the doctor is more likely to pay attention to it.

We all need to advocate for ourselves and others and educate the people we can reach. But you are exactly right.

Amy
Done is better than perfect!

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Re: Ignorance in hospitals and its toll on suboxone patients

Post by jeandianne » Tue Oct 23, 2018 6:58 pm

I suggest that anyone having a colonoscopy or other type of scope ask to be referred to a center that uses Propofol. My first attempt to have a colonoscopy was aborted because the usual drugs did nothing and I was in so much pain. I have had several procedures done this year and have made sure that I got Propofol so as not to repeat the horrible experience with colonoscopy. I ended up having surgery in July. I was upfront with the surgeon about my buprenorphine treatment but my post op pain meds were just the standard 5-10 mg oxycodone. Luckily I did not have much post op pain because nurses and doctors seems clueless.

cm3882
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Re: Ignorance in hospitals and its toll on suboxone patients

Post by cm3882 » Fri Aug 16, 2019 7:25 am

I know this thread is older but this is one of my biggest fears. I have celiac disease and developed gastritis and a few other minor GI ailments because I wasn’t diagnosed until I was 26 and should probably be getting a colonoscopy every 3-5 years to monitor whether my GI tract and intestines are healing and have avoided it because of the bupe so far. I haven’t been symptomatic in awhile (in all honestly, (and I don’t even know understand this makes sense) a lot of my GI issues have even gotten better since going on buprenorphine (maybe slowing of dopamine etc) is good for someone who had the opposite prior to taking it. But I am SUPER resentful that this is where we are... that someone who has all my problems can’t just have a normal colonoscopy without fear

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Re: Ignorance in hospitals and its toll on suboxone patients

Post by jennjenn » Sat Aug 17, 2019 11:20 am

I’ve had a colonoscopy and taking buprenorphine does not effect anything when this procedure is done that I know of. It’s really just being under anesthesia not opiates. They don’t even give ya pain medication during or after so as far as that procedure don’t be scared, that’s a process that wouldn’t matter either way from taking buprenorphine as far as I know :)
Jennifer

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Re: Ignorance in hospitals and its toll on suboxone patients

Post by Ryan Ryan Ryan » Tue Aug 20, 2019 4:52 am

I spent 4 days in the Critical Care Unit because of a stupid suicide attempt and I have to say the nurses were excellent and very caring for me. Thankyou Joondalup Hospital for treating me well despite my addiction shame.

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