Monday, February 23, 2009

Painted Black

I was reading some blogs that wrote about clinics in the mid-west that charged one amount for anything under 100mg of methadone and another amount for anything over. I think all clinics should do something similar. We have to pay $15/day for each of us no matter if we're on 200mg or 20mg. Methadone couldn't cost very much for the clinic to buy. Part of what we pay for are the other services like counseling and doctor visits. This latest clinic I'm at is so disorganized and poorly run, however, that I have never had a real counseling appt. and I rarely get urine screens. In some ways it can be nice that the staff is hardly involved; but in other ways it makes me appreciate past clinics where I received a lot of support from women's groups and consistent counseling.
Also, I feel like the nurses at my current clinic took my attempt to get off the methadone personally. When I realized I needed to restart the clinic I felt like they were really rude. One of the nurses said to me that they are not the ones who told me to get off my dose as if she felt like I was blaming the difficulty or lack of success on her. I thought that was unprofessional, even if I had blamed her which I don't think I did in any way. Then, another time, right in front of me as she was talking to the director over the phone about raising my dose she said, "Yeah, she went to treatment and that didn't last very long". I thought that was super unprofessional because I stayed in treatment as long as my insurance would allow, I also told the doctor there that I didn't feel ready to leave. They pretty much kicked me out. These comments are just small examples of the general attitude which seems to exist in every methadone clinic I've ever been to. Between switching my home clinic three times and dosing as a guest at various clinics while on a trip or whatever, I recall at least eight clinics I've experienced. At every one the staff seems stretched thin, overworked, burnt-out, and generally unhappy. Not like this is very different from many places of business in which I go to, people are generally unhappy everywhere these days. Especially up north where it has been cold and snow-covered for four months at least now, people are grumpy.
I'm not really sure exactly what could be changed to make clinics less frustrating places to be. They could probably use more funding, for one. If insurance companies would recognize methadone as a necessary form of medication, that would help. It is possible to be reimbursed for methadone payments, but it's not an easy thing to accomplish. Some clinics are better than others at staying organized and offering many programs to help patients take their treatment beyond simply getting a dose every day. For treatment to really be effective we need to change major life patterns. This is not something easily done. I think that clinics would have a higher success rate for people who eventually get off methadone and stay clean if they offered more programs on how to change the way we live.
I don't know, I don't even really know what I mean to say. I've been so tired lately. I don't know if it's just because I'm still sort of sick, or if it's because I feel depressed lately, or what. I just don't want to do anything but sit in my bed and watch movies. I had to force myself to mop the bathroom and kitchen floors yesterday, and clean the cat box and do dishes and take a shower. It all just seemed too energy-sapping. It's all I can do to pull myself up for work. Plus I took a break from school because the school I got my Associates Degree at doesn't have a B.A. program. So I'm trying to decide what my next move should be but in the meantime that means I'm doing nothing to further my education. Even if I'm taking only one or two classes at a time I can at least tell myself that I'm making progress. But I'm not, I'm just stagnant. All this whining just reinforces the thought that I need a drastic change to stir things up.
Sometimes I feel like I'm just drowning under all the responsibilities I should attend to but have not. I'm so bad at paying my bills on time. Mikey and I don't make a ton of money, but between the two of us we should be able to pay all our bills on time. Money doesn't seem to be the paramount issue for us, it's motivation and organization which is lacking considerably. I just don't know where to begin. I still haven't put my stuff away since we moved. I have piles of my books and all kinds of clothes and dishes and papers strewn all over the hallway to our apartment. I haven't put up curtains or put our clothes away. I used to be good at doing stuff like that, I'm not really sure what happened - I just stopped caring or maybe it stopped seeming important, I don't know. I know I need to put stuff away. I know I would feel better if the place I lived in felt better but getting from here to there seems like a superhuman feat most days. I hope one day I will feel content.


Robb said...

.. Clinics here in Canada are no better. I think that it is a matter of lack of funding, poor pay and, remember, the nurses there do have to deal with druggies like us! ;-)
.. P'raps a "drastic change" is needed, then again, it may just be something as simple as getting stuff put away. Get the curtains up, and see how you feel. It may work.
.. Go to a meeting. Talk to someone, but stay away from the methadone treatment. Tell them about the lack of motivation or lethargy, if you will. Maybe someone will identify with it all and give some ideas.
.. Good luck in this part of your journey. I think you're on the right track!!

Keep The Faith*

Heroinhead said...

I'm a heroin addict from London currently living in France. have alook at my... hope to hear from you soon, Shane.

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