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Old 08-11-2011, 05:29 PM   #1 (permalink)
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failed dr. visit and discouraged


Hi all,
Back with my tail between my legs. I have been insistent that I can't go to a Dr. because I don't trust the privacy, but last night I was really bad to my husband.

I called the Dr. today and got in; almost lied to the nurse but then told her I was having trouble with my drinking and wanted to see if I could maybe get something to help.

I told her the truth about everything and answered all questions - like that I have been 5-20 drinks most nights for almost 30 years. It was so hard.

She said she didn't know much about it and would talk to her colleagues. She called me at 5pm to tell me that she couldn't give me antabuse until I had 3 weeks without drinking, and that I should call this place to get a chemical dependency evaluation a treatment plan with a counselor and come back in a month. She said "I know that's not what you wanted to hear, but this is what you need to get better". I felt so small and stupid.

I called the place, a counselor will evaluate me in 3 weeks, whatever that means.

No blood work, nothing. I could be dying, or I could die from detox. I am so full of grief that I opened up and asked for help, and now I am shaking and scared and I feel so lost and sad and I don't know what to do.

But I guess that's the alcoholic in me. I wanted help NOW. No impulse control.

Thanks for letting me wallow. Back to the tears - lots and lots of them tonight for the first time in a long time.
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Old 08-11-2011, 05:32 PM   #2 (permalink)
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Sounds like you need a second opinion.
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Old 08-11-2011, 05:37 PM   #3 (permalink)
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Originally Posted by eJoshua View Post
Sounds like you need a second opinion.
I agree. I would get a second opinion if it were me. My physician was far more compassionate and thorough.
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Old 08-11-2011, 05:39 PM   #4 (permalink)
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Damn, that bites. You definately need a second opinion, maybe even through the emergency room--I used it once and it actually worked out pretty well for me. Sounds like your dr might be a bit lacking. As I understand it antibuse is used usually after repeated relapse and whatever, certainly not helping with detox. And no blood work or anything? I feel bad because you really put yourself out there but don't give up because of this experience. There is competent help out there. Find the right resource and get sober, it is worth it. I'm sure pulling for you.
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Old 08-11-2011, 05:40 PM   #5 (permalink)
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Please go to a different dr who will evaluate you properly.
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Old 08-11-2011, 05:41 PM   #6 (permalink)
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I'm not sure as I understand why you feel so stupid. You reached out for help...you'll be going to see a counselor and hopefully, like myself, get yourself in some kind of rehab. It all takes time. There is no magic pill. The foremost thing you could do right now is not drink. Congratulations on going to see the doc. Great progress.

BUT if you think you are having more serious medical issues and need your blood drawn then make another appointment for that in particular. Maybe you didn't tell her what you expected from the visit.

I found that patience was a huge factor in my recovery. I needed to learn how to slow down, take a deep breath and except things for the way they are -not the way I expected them to be. I think you'll be ok...as long as you don't drink.
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Old 08-11-2011, 05:53 PM   #7 (permalink)
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Antabuse, 3 weeks? Get another opinion or go to ER
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Old 08-11-2011, 09:37 PM   #8 (permalink)
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Maybe I am not familiar with wanting to take antebuse -this is coming from someone who doesn't even take tylonal...but I'm wondering...if you have a prescription for antebuse are you not prolonging recovery? I understand the toxicity it holds when mixed with alcohol but shouldn't the alcoholic need to learn to overcome the need and desire to stop drinking without medication? Sooner or later you are off antebuse and won't the same feelings arise and surface? Is relapse inevidable again? I don't know...just asking?
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Old 08-11-2011, 09:56 PM   #9 (permalink)
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I've never used it, but I've seen a few people here use antabuse, ER.

To my understanding it's not meant to be a permanent thing but it clearly can, and has been, been useful for some in those first few weeks.

Discussions like these are best between patient and Dr., I think

No Tears, I would definitely get a second opinion.

A good doctor should evaluate you and discuss which treatment out of a range of options is the best for you, and get you on the right path as soon as possible

D
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Old 08-11-2011, 10:06 PM   #10 (permalink)
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There are doctors and there are DOCTORS. It is unfortunate we have to kiss a few toads along the way. You are being proactive. My suggestion is to find a doctor knowledgeable in the treatment of alcoholism to advise you as to the medical detox and is as proactive as your are.

I have encountered this kind of hurry up and wait treatment before in other matters, and it is maddening to me. Sorry - I'm venting just a bit.

I'm wondering if this is the first time you sought help or attempted to stop drinking. I guess my thoughts mirror those of EmeraldRose's about the antebuse. Have you tried to get sober before?
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Old 08-12-2011, 01:36 AM   #11 (permalink)
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It's outrageous. I can't believe that a doctor would take alcohol detox so lightly. Antabuse is not the essential factor here.

Please, get a second opinion - third, fourth and fifth, whatever it takes to get proper support and guidance.
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Old 08-12-2011, 04:07 AM   #12 (permalink)
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I too would get a second opinion x
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Old 08-12-2011, 07:31 AM   #13 (permalink)
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Thanks everyone. I'm sorry for being such a drama queen (though it'll happen again).

Yes ER, I have tried to stop drinking before. As many times as anyone, but at least once a week since the 80s. I haven't got it right yet.

I don't care about antabuse - it was the only drug name that came to my mind, but I told her that. And honestly, yesterday, I would happily have taken it. I still would. I would do anything right now to do something different.

While I admit I sure wouldn't mind some kind of drug to get me off the ceiling, I guess it was the "call this number then come back in a month" after spilling my guts that got me. And not doing the dr. thing and checking me physically just seems negligent.

I am on my 3rd doc in my small town in 3 years - I haven't found one who is even willing to order the blood tests my insurance covers for yearly checkups and work with me on thyroid issue - they are all in the same healthcare complex.

This morning I looked up addiction counselors figuring maybe I could get a referral to an understanding GP from one of them, but they are all part of the same hospital healthcare system that doesn't like to do preventive screening.

I called one with a different address but freaked and hung up when the call was answered with "horrible healthcare satellite clinic".

I hate the thought of working my way down the list telling my story each time, but you guys have convinced me that I should keep moving and not meekly accept the one option offered.

thank you, all of you.
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Old 08-12-2011, 07:45 AM   #14 (permalink)
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We have a state run rehab in Maryland. People call to get in. People (I did this) call EVERYDAY and are told to do so as they want people who are truly ready to stay stopped. I don't know if this helps anything, but it tells me that the state doesn't want to waste money on people who aren't absolutely serious.

If you are serious, slow your drinking and before you know it, your 3 weeks will be here.

Alcoholics want what they want when they want it. It's a form of control.

Keep searching, if you want, or accept that your help will come.

Just my experience and suggestion.
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Old 08-12-2011, 07:59 AM   #15 (permalink)
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NoTears, I know it's difficult, especially when you have to go through the details of your drinking over and over with different people (many of which are either ignorant or apathetic about addiction), but your life is worth a lot more than a little discomfort. (Not to minimize how uncomfortable you are talking to docs about this -- believe me, I remember how much "fun" that was.) Just try to keep the proper perspective on it, and don't give up until you get the results you're looking for.

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Old 08-12-2011, 08:16 AM   #16 (permalink)
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Reading it again it might be that they are booked for 3 weeks, maybe? Patience.
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Old 08-12-2011, 08:17 AM   #17 (permalink)
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I agree with Fenris. This is your life. My sobriety is a matter of life and death. If my doctor would not have been so wonderful, I would have did what ever it took. I think 3 weeks is far too long.
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Old 08-12-2011, 09:10 AM   #18 (permalink)
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If your insurance covers ER visits, that would probably be a good option. I know it's not the easiest thing to get insurance to cover a second opinion.

If it was me in that situation, I would look up the nicest, best rated hospital (outside "horrible healthcare system!") that insurance covered within driving distance, show up to the ER, and spill everything.

Please don't give up!
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Old 08-12-2011, 09:25 AM   #19 (permalink)
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I'm surprised the doctor didn't order blood work to test liver function, cholesterol levels, and triglyceride levels among other things. When I first told my Doctor I had a drinking problem she ordered the blood work and generally doesn't let me go too long before having it done again.

But, she did tell me that as a Doctor she wasn't trained in counseling or conditions involving mental health. So, she recommended I get treatment for that.

One thing that is common for people who have been drinking for a while is high triglyceride levels which is something you will want to know about. The Doctor can provide medication for something like that to keep it at normal levels. So, I would try to find a doctor that will send you to the hospital to get the blood work done. I think it is a normal procedure and insurance should cover it. But, that is only my guess.
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Old 08-12-2011, 09:48 AM   #20 (permalink)
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NoTears

NoTears, your title is "failed Dr. appointment"

I hope you know that YOU did not fail ... your doctor did!!!
Find a new doctor.

I tried antabuse once - it was before I made a true commitment to quit. IMO the commitment is more important than the drug.
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