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Friday, August 26, 2011

South Florida Drug Clinics and Transfer Addiction

I know it is all over the news!!!!

Governor Rick Scott is combating oxycodone abuse in Florida!

About 6 months ago, my spinal pain became immense and I sought the help of a pain management specialist.  A real doctor, not the pain clinics they talk about in the articles.  He put me on oxycodone for my Multiple Sclerosis pain.  I thought to myself, well I have lived with this disease almost 19 years, I must need it.

Well, I quickly needed a milligram increase and went from 10 mg. to 15 mg., my mal-adsorption  from the gastric bypass made it impossible to get relief from the drug, I thought.  They drug test you to ensure that you are not taking other drugs, if so, they drop you like a hot potato and refuse you service. Problem was that my tests were showing that I wasn't taking the oxycodone, my body just wasn't adsorbing the drug due to the gastric bypass and low body mass.  Keep in mind that I now weighed 118 pounds and was beginning to look emaciated.  The drugs made me not want to eat.  My appetite was gone and the pills made me nauseous, but by that point my physician had raised my milligram to 30.  I was hooked and didn't know it.  My personality changed, I dosed off and I wasn't living a real life.  I was just hiding from the pain, anyway I could.

I had talked to the doctor about coming off the pills and was informed that it would take months to get off them.  Months, are you kidding me? Oxycodone isn't something you easily stop taking.  The physician and I discussed another treatment option and I had three spinal blocks in three weeks.  The spinal pain subsided, but I was still on the drugs.  When you come off the drug, they add Zanex to help with the withdrawal, and believe me it's a bitch!  In my head though, I'm thinking, great another addictive drug. The withdrawal is terrible, I thought I was dying.  I cut myself off from the Oxycodone abruptly and withdrawal hit me like a Mac truck.

The Center for Substance Abuse Research describes it well:
There is a high risk of experiencing severe withdrawal symptoms if a patient discontinues oxycodone abruptly. Therefore therapy should be gradually discontinued rather than abruptly discontinued. People who use oxycodone in a hazardous or harmful fashion are at even higher risk of severe withdrawal symptoms as they tend to use higher than prescribed doses. The symptoms of oxycodone withdrawal are the same as for other opiate based painkillers and may include "anxiety, nausea, insomnia, muscle pain, muscle weakness, fevers, and other flu like symptoms."

Personally, I can tell you it is like hell!  I thought I was losing my mind and I was sick as a dog.

I tried to ask for help and none of the local "mental" help facilities would touch me, except one that I would rather die than go to.  I went to the emergency room where I had my gastric bypass, just in case I needed hospitalization.  I was vomiting and had diarrhea for over a week and was down to 113 pounds.  I thought I was losing my mind.

The ER doctor was wonderful, he reassured me that I wasn't an addict, that this was just bad medicine.  He wrote me a prescription for Lyrica for the leg pain, which was terrible, and a small prescription for Percocet.  The best was the conversation we had, in which he told me that I may need a pain killer and that didn't mean I am an addict.  I needed those words to be said.

I, like many others who have had weight loss surgery, have this fear of transfer addiction.  I am being as honest about the situation as a precautionary tale.  I could of easily continued taking the drugs instead of seeking alternative treatment, but fear took over.  I have addiction issues all over my family tree and I didn't want to be another statistic within our family.  I have family members who have chosen pills over family and I didn't want to end up like them. Obviously, my addiction to food was the reason for my choosing to have weight loss surgery, so I already have an addictive personality.  I have battled codependency for years and now I needed to face the fact that I am afraid.  What if I do need a pain killer?  Does that make me an addict?

I am wrestling with a real issue that I know others have faced within our community.  Alanon never covered this!  I feel like I am on uncharted territory and don't want to make a miss step.  I am doing my best to survive.  I continue to work my 12 steps and take things one day at a time.

Friday, August 19, 2011

Coral Springs, FL Police Violated My Rights!!!!!!!

As you all know, I am not much for going on a rant, but today you will have to bare with me!

I want to tell you about an incident that occurred on 8/17/11.  My daughter and I had gone to have her birth control put in (yeah, no more babies for 5 years).  On our return home, my daughter received a call from her fiances' mother informing her that he was with the police and they where calling her and she wanted to know why.

Of course, we had no idea why.  We were informed by her that the police were at my residence.  Upon returning to my home there were two police cars in front of my home, one was a cruiser and the other was an undercover car. They had blocked my driveway almost completely and we almost hit the mailbox pulling in.

Upon our returning home and seeing police cars, I expected to find them somewhere outside my dwelling and we began to look for them.  Keep in mind, we are in tow with a 9 week old infant.  At this time, my daughters phone rang again and it was his mother again, she informed us that they were inside my house.  I was appalled and shocked when I opened my front door to be screamed at by two police officer, "Coral Springs Police Department".

At that moment I asked the officer, "Why are you in my house?"  With no reply, my daughter got slightly nasty and asked if they had a search warrant?  The response from Officer Eric Walsh, "Shut up or your boyfriend is going to be arrested."

At that moment, mom jeans kicked in and I immediately began to cooperate with them, and put a muzzle on her.  Apparently, the tale is that there is a slew of burglaries in my neighborhood going on.  There was a burglary that afternoon and the only description they got was that there was a teen running from the house. 

Now her fiance purchased a hooptie, you know they type, a cop magnet!  Apparently, they ran his tag and it came back stolen.  At this time, they pulled him over and questioned him about the tag.  He had no idea that while at an expo event that he and my daughter attended last Friday there was some idiot switching people's tags. 

This same officer that was in my house later, Officer Eric Walsh, grabbed him by the scruff of his neck and ripped him from the car through the window.  Yes, I said through the window.  Keep in mind the door was fully functional. He proceeded to drag him around to the curb and throw him to ground and shackle him! 

Even after this, he still cooperated and gave them permission to search his vehicle.  Now, he and I ran an errand that morning together and I forgetfully left my purse in his car.  MS strikes again. As most of you know, I have suffered with a progressive form of MS for approximately 19 years now.  I see a pain specialist and I was prescribed Oxycodone.  This medication was in my purse.  At that point they began to harass him and informed him that he was "never going to see the light of day again" and that his bond was going to be 1.5 million dollars, thanks to our new Governor. 

He explained to them that my number was on his cell phone and that all they had to do is call me to verify.  Instead of calling me, they came to my home apparently "found my back door unlocked".  I don't believe that statement, because my daughter's fiance remembers locking the door before he left, just after putting the dog in his cage.  I, honestly, believe they popped my sliding glass door open to gain entry into my home. They then began an illegal search of my dwelling to find "evidence that he lived here".  One of the officers said, "We can only find one faint picture of him in that back bedroom."  Mind you, there is an 11 X 13 of him, my daughter and the baby on one of her shelves.  How do you miss that?

Finally, her fiance had the tag confiscated and returned home.  I was enraged at the treatment we received!!!!  I called the Chief of Police and asked for a meeting.  I was informed he "didn't do that" and I needed to speak with his Lieutenant  or Captain.  I am sorry, but I find that appalling, that the Chief of Police won't speak with me.

Then we received a call from one of the officers informing her fiance that they had had his tags in property all along and would he like to come and get them?  WHAT????  How convenient!!!! Am I suppose to be grateful?

So, I called the Mayor and he had the city attorney call me to tell me that he wouldn't be speaking with me.  I informed Mr. Hearn that if I didn't speak with him, I was going to the press.  He responded by telling me to do that then and hung up on me.

I then received a call from Captain Perry of the Coral Springs Police, in which he called me "closed minded" and I informed him that obviously were not going to agree on anything and what recourse was there for me.  He then informed me that I could come down and file a formal complaint against the officer at the station.

I went to the station and they informed me that there is no "form" you have to meet with Lieutenant McHugh first.  Keep in mind, he informed me that he is the media contact as well.  I thought,"Alright, we are finally getting somewhere".  We told our story in detail and he told us that he would look into the incident and get back to us. 

At that moment, I see Officer Eric Walshs photo posted on the wall stating he has been named "Officer of the Year".  I just about died!

Oh, I received a call alright!  Only to be told that he believed the officers involved were within procedure and as far as he was concerned, he was proud of their actions.  Oh and by the way, "he wouldn't be taking my complaint any further".

If you were treated this way by your municipality, what would you do?  Let me know.  The media has not returned my call, by the way.  I wonder why? hmmmmmmm  I truly believe that we where treated unprofessionally by everyone involved.  They were rude and hostle and I have lost all confidence and willingness to cooperate with them in the future.  What a shame!