Sorry it took me so long to write you about my follow-up visit to the Sub Dr!
You know I'd had a bout of depression when I went off those "dancin' oxys" in December--a bout that lasted about 3 weeks. 3 weeks of feeling so flat that a car could've driven over my body without a hint of a bump!! I'd just stopped the oxys...and started the Sub...but tho it stoped the withdrawals immediately, I still needed to deal with this sobering depression
Thankfullly, as my system settled down with the Sub--16 mg a day at first, then at 14 mg, then 12 mg a day--I slowly improved and finally hit the point, where for the first time in years and years...I was feeling "real" emotions. An unimaginably wonderful experience for me--after all those drug-related responses to everything! (Not to mention trying to differentiate for so long, whether depression helped lead to drugs--or vice versa!!)
Each appt. my Dr. asked me to try reducing 2 mg...so I went (easily) from 12 mg to 10 to 8--over a period of about six weeks. But then...when I hit the 6 mg level--over a week ago--within two days, I just felt my brain chemistry--falter...like an engine without fuel...and "stop"! It was such a clear chemical change. My emotions and feelings--happiness, anticipation, even negative feelings like sadness--just shut down again....and nothing seemed to be getting thru. Hard to believe that just that 2 mg drop created such an awful change in me. But it did....and I it was NOT just "all in the mind". This was definitely in the BRAIN!
Luckily, my very compassionate (and, well-educated about Sub) doctor, is highly senstive to the issue of depression. She knows how devastating it can be--how your entire life can just stop dead. So, instead of suggesting I struggle on for another, say, 5 days at 6 mg a day, she said it was much more important for me not to plunge back into a depressive state--and I was to go back immediately to taking that extra 2 mg (which would make it 8 mg a day again). She said that it was far more important, at this point, that I feel mentally well. I believe her philosophy about Subutex is that, yes, if possible, we should slowly wean ourselves off...but NOT to the point where our level of "life quality" plummets to such a devasting degree.
She says that some people wean off more easily than others. And some need to stay at a certain dosage level for reasons like mine....depression. She knows that I take antidepressants, as well....and says that, although the Sub may help with depression...the ADs should be prescribed along with it as needed. (Dallas...you asked about AD's? Even if you tried them some time ago, I would try again (go to psychiatrist who treats depression--not a regular doctor. There are so many different and new medications out there. You may just find that an AD might give you that little extra energy you need to get out more for those "fun" excursions--the ones that still require a big push!!!
Anyway, back to me..I believe I left off when I had just dropped back int the "pit", again, on the 6 mg a day?!? Well, right in the doctor's office, I crunched down on the extra 2 mg....bringing me back up to 8 mg a day--and within 48 hours I felt a small lifting of the depression. Then...yesterday...I realized that I had pretty much moved up to the level I'd been when I was staying on the 8 mg. I felt almost NORMAL again! Hooray! So....I'm going to stay where I am at 8 mg a day...and meet with her in two weeks. And see how we're going.
This doctor is a wonderfully reassuring person and answers each question with all the detail you could wish for! She talks about the world of depression as the most devastating place to be--and ha a real empathy for how drugs and depression are so often connected. Just hearing her speak about the need to deal with this issue comforts me so much. "Depression" is a state that is almost unfathomable to those who have not experienced it. I don't mean that in a "mean" way. But...it is just such an impossible state to imagine if you are lucky enough to have never been there!
So, Dallas A.....hope this gives you some more info. I do find this Subutex--like you find the Methadone--to be a life-saving drug. That's interesting that your clinic is just starting to think about Sub. Here, too, it's only in the past year that it's popped up so much, even in magazine and newspaper articles. And I like being able to take home 120 pills and take them, without driving to a clinic. I know that must tire you out some days!! Or do you have home privileges, yet??
On a totally different matter, I LOVE, LOVE the sound and "look" of your room! My "nesting hole" is feathered with antique stenciled dresser and "Tall Boy", about 100 year old--from long-ago relatives in the family. Over the years, I've bought lace runners, an old British mirror that stands on the dresser, old frames (some from the family, some from the markets!), photos of my father on a pony in 1918!!...and my parents' courtroom civil service wedding day in 1940!! Now...let's see what else I've got.....a 19th century oval mirror (from a woman selling about six barns of family stuff!!!), a 19th century glass lamp (from my grandmother), an large, old rural scene painting in a old wood frame...and lots and lots of very ecclectic stuff to fill every corner!
Two of the walls are turned over to book shelves...and loose piles of these books completely clutter the "Celeste" corner. (The "Celeste Corner" is where my aging, frail beloved Peke Celeste lives...it has comfy pillows all over the floor for her and a narrow entrance between the "aisle" to keep her "brother", Lhasa Theo, from commandeering her turf!! LOL! Theo lies directly behind me and my computer cabinet, his pudgy body so covered in long Lhasa hair that you can never be certain if he is faciing you..or presenting you with his posterior!) By the way, my walls are an almond pink with cream colored moldings. I have a kingsize bed, which ONCE contained a husband...but he was exchanged for something far more useful--space for my extra books and magazine and sketching pads and pencils. I use duvet covers rather than a comforter, so the colors on the bed change with each change of the sheets! (Although all become "dog-gray" within days of changing.) LOL!
Your 15th wedding anniversary sounds like the last ten years of my marriage!!! Aaarrrrgggghhhhhh!!! What a memory for you!! Why don't you get that Invisible Man kit (I love that kind of medical stuff) and call him your ex's name, as you dissect his liver, kidneys and other appropriate parts......
Okay, gotta go! Now...I wanna get a nice, long juicy epistle from you, Dallas. What other toys did you have? I had tons of stuffed dogs and lotsa "kits"--but I was very much an outdoorsy kid, who rode her bike constantly, and climbed anything climbable (housing construction sites, trees, rocks...whatever!! :-) I liked building clubhouses, snowcaves, all of which would immediately collapse. I was determined to fly....even if my wings were always umbrellas! And I dreamed of having enough inflated baloons to take off and fly over our town. Such a maniacal kid.
(Ellen, if you reading this...I promise to get back to you soon. I was so excited to get all your information! Thanks sooooo much.
Yes, I did peek in and read your post! So wonderful to read your update. You know I so identify with your living on pins and needles of sorts about "the depression" returning, emerging, lurking, whatever...the chicken and the egg syndrome with me too. Your doctor sounds amazing! Though I'm not really considering the sub treatment at least not now, it sounds like you are also implying it's not really a panacea for the treatment of depression. (?)
Anyway Lynn, I was wondering (that's why I'm butting in here) if you would mind passing on the name of your addictionologist? She sounds wonderful and although I recently met with a new addictionologist myself, well, frankly yours sounds a little more gentle, which this doctor isn't really. I wasn't thrilled with a recent response I got from a telephone call I made to her. Cool, to say the least. I liked her more in person- I at least could check to see if yours takes my insurance (which mine doesn't!), or to have a back-up for the future. I love the idea of seeing someone who understands "the addict" in us as well as is compassionate in the treatment of depression. She does mostly pharmocology right, or in conjunction with talk therapy? If your'e not comfortable sharing this info, it's perfectly Ok, sweetie, i totally would understand, end of discussion. You just describe the perfect doctor!
i look forward to hearing from you and i love, love, LOVE the sound of your bedroom decor! Sounds like YOU, even though we've never met.
Gotta run, sweetie,
Ellen! This is my third effort to get a post through! I was so frustrated. I wrote you this looooong post all about my doctor, all her "nuances"...the way she practices...etc, etc. Plus I wrote congratulating you on chairing those meetings...then I asked you some questions... and heaven knows what else. I even got philosophical!! LOL! (I was off work yesterday with my bad foot, so I actually had two minutes to myself--unlike today! :-) Anyway....when I'd completed the post, I hit the "send" key....and the post went "pfffft"..... GONE!! So....I then wrote an abbreviated edition of that post...hit "send"....and again..."pfffft"!!! Aaarrrgghhhhh!Some Board problemI later found out. So frustrating...
Anyway...so, all I have time for right now is to say that I think my doctor (Tanaquil Taubes - (212) 787-8775 - at 72nd St and West End Ave (get your passport out) is well worth "investigating." I am seeing her just for my addiction and Sub....but, unlike many other psychiatrists I've met over the years, she has an uncanny ability to hear me--well beyond the actual words I've uttered!! She's got good intuitive sense.
She's very concerned about my depression...and appears to know all too well how depression feels! She's compassionate...and anxious to stop the depression. Her "50 minute hour" (ho ho!) is very interractive--she fully covers the answers to any questions you have. She does NOT sit there waiting for you to struggle for a way to start the session--she talks one-on-one to you.
Okay, gotta go now....sorry this is just an abbreviated post, compared to the other one. But I just wanted to make certain you got her name and number. (She has a British accent and sounds more imposing on the phone than she is in person!! LOl!)
Take care. And thanks for all the info. you sent me! xxx luv, Lynn
Thank you so much for the info Lynn, I will keep it "filed" for possible future reference. She is not listed on my plan at the moment, but doesn't it seem that alot of the real good NY psychiatrists just don't take that many insurances? I am real happy you and Alice have found someone who is intuned and compassionate. Btw, how is dear Alice? Is she OK? in computer w/d? Please say hi for me.
I'm so sorry that I missed the post of you getting philosophical on me - lol! You always have a good take on things so I'm sure I AM missing out. But pfffft is pfffft! It is just too exhausting retyping and trying to remember what it was you said. But I always love hearing from you.
Thanks for the congrats. Chairing the meeting has been so good for me. Reaching out and making phone calls to line up speakers makes me feel more connected to the human race and brings people into my life that I normally wouldn't be calling/seeing. I "chaired" today and the man that spoke for me (for the group, actually) had a beautiful, heartbreaking message. He had been sober for 4 years... picked up his doc, and wasn't able to get sober/clean again for 14 more years! He just celebrated his one year back anniversary!
Anyway, take good care Sweet-pea.
Hope Dallas and everyone else who is reading is OK. I still haven't found out what was wrong with the boards, but I couldn't get on either for 2 days. Like you said VERY Frustrating! I hope this post goes through OK, and that everything is now running smoothly.
Love to all~
Thank you for the wonderful update, Lynn ! And a thread with my name on it, too, I love seeing when you do that, it really makes me feel so good...you're such a good friend. Really, I am so glad you are feeling better on the Sub, and you are so very fortunate in finding this heaven-sent doctor! She sounds absolutely fantastic, and the perfect fit for you twins. If only one of us had run across a doctor with such insight while we were in the old days of dr-shopping (although you didn't ever do that, but I sure did!), maybe someone would have been perceptive enough to offer help of a different kind than a pain pill...but then, would I have listened? Heck no...
Wouldn't you know another thing, too? That just when I was able to get back to the boards, and made one post to Scared Wife, and now I'm here ready to type away, comes "Maaa-aaawm? I haaaaaave to get these paaages for my science project corrected riiii-iiight now be-caauuuse theee-ey'rrre due to-mmmoo-ooor-rowww, so can I puh-leeeaaase have the comp-uuuuuter? It woon't be tooo-ooo loo-oong, I praaawwww-mi-ssss!? Puh-leeeeaaase?" "And besides, I aaammm what the universe revolves aarrroouunnd!" How does one type "whining teenage angst" anyway? Criminy!
I, too, love the sound of your bedroom . No wonder you enjoy your nest so much. Since I've changed mine around and removed all traces of my dark, negative ex-husband, I love my room and sprawling my "stuff" of the moment out on my bed. Guess what?! Right now I'm working on a pencil etching of our cat...working from a photo, can't get her to sit still and pose long enough! AND...I just completed an oil pastel (a media I've never used before) of a row of marble columns from a Frank Frazetti (sp?) illustration...hardest thing I've ever tried! This is the first artwork I've done since I hung my pen and ink set up when I got married in 1981, and it almost makes me cry to think of the time lost...but am trying to focus on the now, even if it makes me feel that twinge of sadness. I think you understand best how hard it is to do that sometimes. I mean, me trying my hand at some art again is a good thing, yes? So why all the emotions and teary-eyes about it?! I drive myself crazy...either it's me, the methadone & recovery, or my dang hormones!
Seriously, both you, Lynn & Ell, have experiences with depression that the more I read about, the more I wonder how much I could be affected? So many similarities...when I come back later, I'll tell you about my first two experiences with ADs...you gotta laugh! In that regard, they were so haphazardly prescribed that the hindsight humor of it all has given me a many good laugh, so in an ironic way, for brief times they have given my mood a lift...lol!
I so appreciate you getting back to me, and will be back tonight. Talk to you later, and BTW, how is Alice? Update okay? And please give her a ((((((cyber-hug)))))) for me !
Last edited by DallasAlice; 02-03-2005 at 02:32 PM.