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Unread 02-27-2015, 09:08 PM   #1
kaiberri
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Lightbulb Stigma Challenges When Seeking Healthcare

Hi everyone,
I am new to this forum, but have been on Buprenorphine since 2008. One thing that I am struggling with is the stigma I receive when getting care from other providers for additional health issues. Now, I have to admit that I was my own worst critic for a long time. I am sure we have all experienced the wrath of reality as it came barreling towards us at full speed once we were finally clean. For the first few years, I blamed my past opiate use for everything wrong in my life. I hated my "old" self and what it had done to my mind, soul, and body. Some days, the guilt and shame was unbearable. But, it has been years now, and I have learned let go of the past. Today, when I look in the mirror, I see who I am now. Much wiser and quite a bit older. Which brings me to my real issue. I am now developing some rather serious health issues that I know need to be addressed.
The problem is that every time I go to see my healthcare provider (my prescribing doc doesn't really do primary care- a whole other story), it seems like they are the ones who are stuck in my past. They look at me and still see the addict reflecting back at them. Now, I am in the public health field and am very pro-advocate for health equality. I know that if someone who wasn't on MAT presented with my symptoms, they would be searching for answers. But, after doing a couple tests, I get told it must all be related to my past use and/or my anxiety and depression. I know these conditions can cause long-term issues, but my gut tells me more is going on. Yet, I have to pull teeth to get any tests done. Don't worry, I leave most my doctors toothless. I am just wondering if anyone else who has been on long term maintenance has dealt with similar issues. It makes a person leery to tell new providers the truth. Would love feedback.
Thanks,
Kaiberri
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Unread 03-01-2015, 07:11 PM   #2
jimash55
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Default Stigma

..Stigma and shame attached to MAT is going to be there until we do something about it...it really is a inside job and as someone on long term recovery There is certain words that I don't use...clean...dirty ...addict..etc! We complain how others talk about us but we refer to ourselves using the same words/terms. There is some good info on this site describing the words we use matters.
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Unread 03-29-2015, 08:11 AM   #3
So.Cal.
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Yea, some places, and people, (docs, nurses and hospitals), have a very good memory, and some of them REALLY do have a list of people they feel are pill seekers, at least in my small town its true.
Yrs ago, I was definitely guilty of this, once I took a broken toe to 3 hospitals in 3 different counties!
but now ive been on sub goin on 11 yrs and I found when I fractured 3 bones and pulled /tore ligaments in my leg kick startin my bike, that even though the outside of hospital has been remodeled, and staff I had never seen before, actually told me to go home and take tylenol! No x-ray, No nothing!
Until I seen my regular doc and he sent me back and they treated me as a human being, it was really something, I hadnt been to that hospital in so many yrs, but my record must have some big bold print at the top, "JUNKY"!
And I could certainly understand bein treated that way if I were there tryin to get pills, heck, I was on sub, and unless they gave me fentenyl or something like that I wasnt get excited about it, I just wanted some help, and my reg doc did give me some hydro's or something, but the thing that helped the pain , IMMEDIATELY, was when he put my leg in a brace.
So yea, we will always be seen as addicts, and thats what we are, we're just either active or in-active addicts. And the way some people treat us is just the way it is, It's NEVER gonna change, Its the way most humans are, If it isnt people treating addicts wrong, its treating the disabled, the mentally ill, anyone whos different, There will always be those who feed off others downfalls and make mockery of them only to make themselves feel better than!
But thats on them, THEY are the ones with the problems, Ive seen it at pharmacies all the time, they look over the counter at you and snicker with their friends and laugh while talkin about you, and they aren't shy about doin it!
But I say , SO WHAT!?, we cant change the kind of people they are, they aren't even worth discussing like I am now.
No, we cant change them, I just feel sorry for them, cause of their ignorance, BUT, we CAN change ourselves! Well, Thats what I believe, Its what I KNOW, i KNOW BECAUSE I'M ON A PATH , ONE THAT TAKES ME CLOSER TO GOD, AND THE CLOSER I GET THE MORE I CHANGE!

TT
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Unread 03-29-2015, 08:26 AM   #4
Dasha
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Wonderful response So.Cal!

I too understand the feeling we get when going into the pharmacy to pick up our meds. Although my new pharmacy is much better than my last!

As you stated, we cannot change what they think. And if that is all they have to do with their time is talk about other's and smirk behind our backs, well good for them. Doesn't hurt me.

Everyone's has something to deal with and perhaps it makes them feel better about themselves to look down on us. That is pretty much how it has been for all minorities since the beginning of time.
Small minded people always talk about other people first. Not my problem----
We know we are healing ourselves and the rest is nobody else's business.

Stand tall and be proud of yourself! You are just as important and deserve as much respect as anybody else. Only some people are too ignorant to know that. Too bad for them!


Sincerely,
~ Dasha
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Unread 03-29-2015, 08:52 AM   #5
So.Cal.
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Thanks Dasha,

And yea, I dont worry about those folks who waste their time worryin about what and who I am concerning my present or past addictions in a derogatory fashion. I just smile and shine em on!
I happen to be VERY lucky right now with the doctor and nurse I have as my primary care giver! She is a really one in a million awesome doctor! She's like a friend, and actually is a friend on FB! LOL, thing is SHE REALLY CARES ABOUT PEOPLE, and has cone to other countries to help the less fortunate, and she happens to be a christian , just a really nice person, and doctor.
I really liked your post and so I wanna just say GOODMORNIG, with a song!
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qde5NMy7WTU

Last edited by So.Cal.; 03-29-2015 at 09:11 AM..
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Unread 04-02-2015, 04:40 AM   #6
Dasha
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Wink Hi So Cal!

What a treasure you are! I just came on here to browse a bit and found this link you had posted for me. Now how in the world did you know I adore Ms. Carole King? Her album "Tapestry" is one of my ALL time favorite albums ever made!!!

Continue along your beautiful journey of health. The Universe has more than enough (in fact, is overflowing) joy for all of us to have more than we could ever hope to imagine!

Keep Shining my dear!

~Dasha
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