I guess this is how it ends – my story

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    plumpchknplumpchkn
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    I used to blog on here when I was a medical student. You can look up my plumpchkn and find those posts. That was 13.5 years ago! My God how the time has changed me, my life and my career path.

    When I first started blogging I was still so naive and now the work of medicine and my experiences have definitely tainted me and it makes me so sad to have to say that. However, I need to start blogging again before I end up going crazy. I need an outlet. I need to nurture that part of me that was so creative that I smashed to bits doing residency and raising my daughter alone.

    I think I will first start with me getting here to TN. It was about 4 years ago when I took a position with a small group as a hospitalist here. I was so excited, I loved my boss and the partners. I did one week on and one week off. The entire year went by swiftly and I was happy. Little did I know that wouldnt last.

    After commencing my second year we got a new program director. We all know the type, young guy, full of beans, wants to change everything and is excited about being the boss – that was the beginning of the end for me. You see at that same time and after a 10 year hiatus I decided I wanted to start dating again – cue the narcissist and the subsequent destruction of my life. I will go into more detail about that in later posts but I want to summarize my experiences so you know where I am right now.

    Dating a personality disorder (yes he was diagnosed) will destroy you so first and foremost I want to say that any women who are putting up with any crap from a man – LEAVE NOW – before you get to where I am.

    At the end of our relationship we ended up getting restraining orders against eachother. He was a convicted felon and I made the mistake of calling his PO and telling him what he did to me and my daughter. Well the PO told him (YES PO’S DO NOT CARE ABOUT YOUR SAFETY!) and he threatened to put me 6 feet under if I didnt drop his restraining order. I did ofcourse, I mean being a single mom, in a state with no family I had no choice right? WRONG – I should have gotten an attorney.

    Anyway, fast forward 5 months and he started contacting me again. Now I had dropped me RO against him but remember he never dropped his – and this was his opportunity to torment me. I responded to his text telling him to “leave me alone” “go away” “lose this number”. And in good ole TN – thats a misdemeanor (YES EVERY ONE LINE TEXT EVEN TELLING HIM TO GO AWAY) and I was subsequently arrested over and over for each of those responses. It was absolute hell. Watching my daughter as I was handcuffed and taken away. Having police show up and accusing me of messaging when I was in the Dominican Republic – all of it was mortifying.

    My job wanted me to quit or to terminate me but my lawyer talked them into keep me on if I got a permanent stay away order on him. However, by this point the damage was done – cue severe PTSD. I was started on benzos and seroquel to help me sleep. There was actually a time I didnt sleep for perhaps 6 days? Talk about being insane, I was shaking, my taste was off, but I was deathly afraid to sleep thinking that cops were going to show up and have me arrested. It was the scariest experience in my life.

    When we finally went to court my daughter begged me not to continue this – waiting months for court dates and dealing with trauma as well as the fall out from my job was too much. I decided to plead to a lesser charge of misdemeanor harassment and took a year probation instead of fighting him any further. I did my “stalking class” which was a joke – it essentially was a class to scare you to death and I’d say half of those people didnt need to be there – but this is what happens when courts and government get involved. I completed that no problem but my PTSD was still severe.

    Throughout all this I continued on with my private therapist. She was wonderful and helped me immensely – but I may have not told her the degree at which I was suffering and noticed how much I hated my job and how fearful I was of getting fired, etc.

    About 6 months after all this there was one night I needed my sleep medication and I took them. Since I got no sleep that night I went in the next morning exhausted. To be honest, I was so tired I dont remember the sequence of events but I found myself in the car of an administrator and being brought down to get a drug screen (this by now is my 3rd in 6 months!) I had no worries as I knew I had my prescriptions and I never took them during the day.

    Well, 5 days later and I get the call from the drug testing doctor who says “you have alprazolam and temazepam in your system” I said – thats not possible at all, I hate xanax, would never take a xanax and I took an ativan and temazepam that night. He continued to argue with me that it said alprazolam but I knew that had to be a mistake.

    I called my PCP who then called the pharmacy to see if they had filled it with the wrong drug. But ofcourse too much time had passed and there was no way they could tell what was dispensed at this juncture. I described the pill to the drug testing doctor and pleaded with him to test me again – Ive already had 3 tests and they’ve all been fine. He said it would be fine for me to do that and thats his recommendation.

    Thats when I got the call from HR – the dreaded HR that walked out 4 providers before me from the clinic. The dreaded HR that we made jokes about that if you see “her” coming – duck, you’re about to be fired. So imagine my panic when the phone rings with her number. And that was the beginning of the absolute end:

    “Dr. PlumpChkn” do you have a prescritpion for xanax? Me: ofcourse not, I would never take that drug and Im on ativan and temazepam. Her: Ok well thats a major problem then. Two days later – shes on a third party call to me and telling me from a script “we are terminating your employment effective immediately” Me: but I’m telling you, please call my PCP he thinks there was an error in the medication disbursement, Ive only ever taken two of those pills out of that ativan bottle and this happens, etc etc” They literally cut me off and proceeded to tell me about the money I owed them.

    I wished them merry xmas and hung up the phone.

    ABSOLUTE DEVASTATION

    Since I already had a nervous breakdown due to getting arrested so many times I knew I couldnt let this get the best of me again. I prayed, I talked to the CEO, I applied and applied and applied – and finally got interviews. I disclosed everything to each potential employer – the probation, all of it – and I was just about to sign when I hear a knock on the door and its the US mail:

    Attention: Dr. Plump Chkn
    From: The Medical board of investigations.

    OMG – my heart stopped, I had a sinking pit in my stomach, I felt ill and shaky. Opening the letter I see the dreaded words ” there was a complaint made against you and we are investigating this for possible xyz legal term of drugs of abuse.

    WHAT? They REPORTED ME? I am the antithesis to prescribing xanax or opioids – how could this happen??? Panic stricken again, I texted my ceo, colleagues etc and was in absolute shock that this actually happened. So here I am – the day after that letter with no job, no monetary savings, a child that depends on me, and the possibility of losing my license.

    How did all this culminate in 6 months time? I want to feel victimized but I know deep down I’m not – that this is the universe or God or whatever you believe in guiding me to where I need to be – the only problem is I dont know where that is.
    Ive been researching what jobs an MD can do without a license and it seems a bit grim. I’ve essentially let my profession define me as a person so now I feel completely lost without that identity.

    I always prided myself on being ocd and super anal in taking care of my patients. Ive always been proud of my work and now.. I’m reduced to a scarlet letter wearing MD that will quite possibly never be able to work again. So now the work begins. Not that I havent been working intensively for the past 30 years but it never seems to end does it?

    We are selling the house, we have already sold our livestock and we’ve liquidated any funds I had in retirement. I need to sell this house though since the equity is where I kept the largest chunk of my savings.

    So now what? What have any of you done after transitioning out either by force or by choice?

    There are days I wish I had a husband or anyone really to lean on. I miss my grandmother that raised me. She always knew the right direction to choose. Im also scared to death. I try to be pragmatic and think of this as a bump in the road but after all the trauma there is a huge part of me that feels almost despondent. To go from the status I had previously to a pariah of society is a difficult pill for my ego to swallow.

    I am trying very hard to stay in the present moment and to be a good mother to my daughter. I’m trying to convince myself that this will all be ok in the end however with a looming 300K student loan debt I’m realistic in knowing it may not be.

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