Letter to Health and Disability Commission

health_buttonAs published previously, there are guidelines for complaining about and managing your care… Health and Disability Commission is one such avenue. They will advocate for you in a complaints type process. Myself and them have had a few contacts over the last year and a half. Most recently a few weeks ago where the idea was put forward of getting together a number of people with similar complaints and recording their concerns and approaching the “powers that be” collectively.

I like this idea. A LOT. The people suggesting it seem to actually listen. And care.

My heart just stopped.

There are MANY MANY people all over Wellington with similar issues. When in Christchurch last week I was bloody well astounded to hear the same stories from those poor fuckers. Four hours I spent talking with addicts and methadone victims in CHCH. Only two of them told me about people being injured or dying in earthquakes. But every single one of them had a complaint and serious issue (anger) with the methadone programme. Now known as some stupid acronym (those who read this regularly will roll their eyes fully expecting me to produce some more of my own world shatteringly clever acronyms – I will refrain, just this once – you owe me) like CORS or some shit, they are the cause of angst and stress amongst many people already suffering dislocation from society.

GOOD ONE CORS. You can thank me for reading all the works of Bruce K Alexander (RAT PARK et al) later. Saves you the bother. Copies now available at Wellington public library. Bruce has never offered me royalties. Not even jokingly. Life is not fair. Life is not for everyone.

http://www.stuff.co.nz/the-press/news/9855871/Methadone-Liquid-handcuffs

This article is eight months old.  Some things have changed. A little. Very little. Some things have even got worse.

chchc

The people at MATUA RAKI bestow the efforts of CORS to include a “strong consumer voice” in their presentation to the “ADDICTION LEADERSHIP DAY CONFERENCE”. Fuck me people. Is it just as some politically minded people were there? Or do you REALLY believe everything is coming up smelling of roses?

Piles of shit may produce good roses. One day.

(Banana skins would be a much better point from a purely horticultural view – Unfortunately this would be lost on politically wrong Wellingtonians. So, PILE OF SHIT it is.)

Without people spotting errors, spotting things wrong, complaining and changing the system…. Nothing would change. The world would still be flat.

It is broke. It needs fixing.

Telling me you have twenty years experience and therefore giving your opinion that my opinions don’t matter is just garbage. A catch 22 of pile of shit.

You have been working on something twenty years and it is still broken?

Go get another job. Honestly, you people deserve a cake.
A cake made from Double U-O Globe Number 4. Mock cream in middle 50-50 mix Psilocybin and Lysergic acid diethylamide 25. Iced with Ice (of course – chortle chortle).logo

van

Vanessa Caldwell is actually really neat. So are most of the people I have met over the last year and half of dealing with addiction. Most really do mean to make a difference with their lives, both in their capitalist job sense and for the addicted masses.

I have managed to control my obvious dislike for those with gold watches and cars with plates newer than 2010. I’ve controlled my ADHD a little. I have managed to converse well with a number of people whom will never talk to me again once they realise I am an invalids beneficiary who flies around the country for no reason what-so-ever. Just to annoy them really. Go on, ask them. They will agree whole hearted. Champagne glasses in their manicured hands.

For I have no agenda. No barrow. No income.

Imagine this, the worlds shittest blog, with its own http address and a flash name like Whale Oil. O for oar sum.

I live in a very run down block of housing corp flats. I live on the bottom floor. I get rotten walls, damp mould. I get things landing outside my window such as butts, syringe wrappers and empty pill packets. My block has eighty odd flats. There are ten people on methadone. There are three drug dealers. There are many on P. Many alcoholics. Many problems. Many gangs.

This is me.

I have a strong sense of social equity. I talk to all people the same. The judge, the politician (hey there Peter Dunne, apologise to Jacinda for my silly, yet sincere, house husband proposals next time you see her…) or the junky laying in the gutter in a recovery position with a slow respiratory rate. They all get the same respect and the same voice from me.

They will, equally, get the same ear bashing if they start quoting wrong facts and figures. They may learn, as did my politically errant in laws, that if people like me actually start arguing we are damn well sure to have enough back up facts to make the argument worth while.

What was the point of all this again?

Have I taken enough Ritalin today? God, grant me the serenity.

 

“””My Dearest [good person at Health and D Comm’]

just letting you know we have been getting nowhere rather rapidly (or slowly) with a few things. The major concern seems to be that “ADDICTION” takes precedent over all other health diagnosis. Unfortunately it has reached the stage where my client has threatened to “write a letter detailing what you c***s are doing and drive head on into oncoming cars in order to highlight what you c***s are doing to me.”

Believe it or not, I have seen this sort of thing before. I have seen people cut off programmes and maintenance regimes and end up in jail with days as they feel robbing a pharmacy and telling their story to a judge and newspaper will help change things.

It doesn’t. [look at the guy who would not get a blanket from Work and Income, so shot three of them]

What would help greatly is being listened to properly.

The staff at ADDICTION SERVICES (CCDHB) today advised my client that they could provide an advocate for him “who would have the run of the hospital” and be much better than the current advocate (me). They also said that they felt uncomfortable with me at meetings and wished him not to bring me in future.  Their basis for this is that I write a blog. If they have ANY issue with the content of my public ramblings, they could approach me and advise me that I have made an error. I am fully prepared to stand up in court and prove every single fact.

They, basically, do not like scrutiny. Nor do they like the idea of hundreds of people every day reading about them. [just to clarify this – The record was over 800. But, lately, most people just read about LORDE and leave – But then 40 individuals have looked here in six hours, half from NZ, mainly USA and Great Britain fill the remainder. They each looked at 1.8 pages (mostly the most recent post and, of course, LORDE…]  

Nor do they like the idea that there are many many more people out there whom are having the same issues but are too ham-strung to speak publicly.

Anyway, I am going to send my client your way very soon. Facts and sense seem to make no difference to these people. 


I attend meetings with my client, as official advocate, and they will not let me speak. They openly ignore me and will not make eye contact. At previous meeting I even had to intervene as one staff member became very angry and was one level below shouting at my client – even though it was her protocols that were causing her anger.

Can we meet in person, or shall we write basis of complaint and forward to you?

Sorry to trouble you. This system is broke. It needs work.“””

And, so saying, that is another ranting post from me. The last for the day. Tune back tomorrow once the mushroom cloud has cleared from your neck of the woods…

Cameron Slater (Whale Oil) has now been blocked from my phone. Honestly, dude, calm the fuck down! Might even get t-shirts printed. But that is a story for another day. My previous post about John Key being a psychopath may have got his g-string in a bundle.

This day has produced it’s headache quotient already. After going to say a quick farewell to one of my oldest junky mates, I get hit with a bunch of crap from other old junky mates. Only to do it all again tomorrow at other old junky mates funeral.

Life. It is not for everyone.

Life on the pharmacists terms is not for anyone.

Funeral today are ARO ST COMMUNITY HALL.  Old stomping ground of many a young punk style teen... Communists everywhere. Surprised property prices have not declined.

Funeral today at the ARO ST COMMUNITY HALL.
Old stomping ground of many a young punk style teen…
Communists everywhere. Surprised property prices have not declined.

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WHY TOO

When talking with a respected Addiction Services Doctor (S) the other day, she said something that astounded me. I had come up with the same thing myself. “A problem is when you’re not in control, something is in control of you”. My definition of addiction is being enslaved to something. Seems we have common ground to work on….

COBRA._FINjpg

 

You see… This was about the only game I ever paid for, COBRA…. My friend, Royston W, and I paid for it ($29.99 at James Smiths, third floor) and played it for weeks on end.

Royston died of cancer about eight years ago at age 34. My game tattoo’s represent problematic addictions. Every one of these games has seen me ignore the basics of life in order to get one more point, level or boss character killed. When you are no longer in control of the thing, you could say the thing is a problematic addiction.

When talking with the well respected doctor (S) the other day, she kept harping on using “addiction” as the reason why substance (A) could not be issued but substance (Methadone) could. She would not acknowledge that quality of life and happiness were just as important. Pain management seemed way out of the equation. She said many times that my clients issues were deep seated and he is morbid (he feels he is going to die and is terminally ill – he may have a point)… He says things like “who cares if I am addicted, I am going to die soon anyway…”

I said there are different levels of addiction. My client was coping well with life, acheiving his goals, supporting his family, maintaining relationships with friends. He has honestly started falling apart at the seams now his cancer is in “remission” and the addiction services are taking away his medications.

I suggest there are levels of addiction, and my clients life was going well. “Even if he was addicted, it is not causing him harm. It is not causing the community harm. It is definitely not cause harm to the economy at large….”

I asked what addiction meant to her.

She replied with something that pleased, astounded and confused…
When you are not in control, when it is in control of you“.

I used the example of my daughter playing computer games. She will sit there ignoring the need to piss, eat or sneeze. She will want just one more Creeper dead, one more chicken eaten, one more block character created. 

To me, this is a problem.

My daughter does not see it this way. Go figure. 

I have been teaching my daughter using terms such as “remember YOU are in control of the game, it does NOT control you… Go to the toilet [blow nose, eat diner, whatever] NOW and have another ten minutes after, rather than me kicking you off straight away.” ****

The doctor at the CCDHB (S) then states “that is entirely different. That is not a problematic addiction.  There are different levels of addiction.”

SO THEN, PLEASE GOOD DOCTOR, COULD YOU PLEASE EXPLAIN WHY ALL PEOPLE DEPENDANT ON DRUGS ARE TREATED AS PROBLEMATIC ADDICTS?

“””uhhmmm…. noooo.??……………..”””

And BANG. There goes anything like common ground. 

In one large Christchurch style land upheaval. 

Kia Kaha

addict_chch

 

..

..

 

*** This last line was what was being discussed with the NZ Productivity Commission guy when Matua Raki stopped us chatting. The NZ Productivity Commission guy has kids. They are hard to get off the I-PAD. As someone with plenty of experience in this regard, he seemed very interested in my ideas on simple ways to intervene without losing your kids. (Another book worth reading – Nuffield and Dr. Gabor HOLD ON TO YOUR KIDS )

tank_girls_vs_scattered

Anyone wanting to read HOLD ONTO YOUR KIDS, IN THE REALM OF THE HUNGRY GHOSTS, or SHATTERED MINDS can ask me to borrow my copy. Well worth it. I have a hard cover version. Please never mention it to the author, publisher or Amazon. The royalty cheques he keeps forgetting to send will be permanently halted. Bloody ADHD.

I have been banging on about old mate GABOR for some time. Click here. Do your worst.

http://drgabormate.com/support-beyond-addiction/

GABOR is the man. I may agree with him more than he agrees with I. But that is purely as he spell checks and edits his work before hitting the button to send it live.

Self censorship. Not for me.

 

WHY?

 

COBRA._FINjpg

 

When all else fails, go and get a shitty tattoo. Works for me every time.

Sharp pain and stupidity in equal doses. Serenity.

 

Why do addict disservices the world over look at methadone as the be all and end all answer to addiction issues?

Why do they want you to reduce from morphine, tramadol or other short term pain killer when you have periods of pain for hours or days, once or twice a week and put your methadone intake up???

This really does not make sense. Pain for a few hours, every day, should mean a short acting pain killer can be used once a day.

If I am not hungry, why should I have to eat?

Why do addict disservices want me to join the methadone waiting list when I have no addiction to drugs?

This is like saying “you may want to write a letter tomorrow, so go and join the queue at the post office now, just in case.”

Worse, it is saying “the rate of failure from methadone withdrawal is so high, you may as well give up now and go back on it.”

So, why the hell would they want you on a drug with such a bad rate of abstinence in the first place?

Why does “ADDICTION” take precedence over other diagnosis and real treatments plans?

When I go to hospital shitting my pants and peeing my trousers due to spinal injury, they give me opiates. This helps as it keeps me moving. Then ADDICTION SERVICES wakes up and the drugs get swapped for panadol. This is a common thing. REAL PAIN and SUFFERING from cancer, injury, damage takes second place to your status as an addict.

I have said it before, but here it is again. The best advice I can give any drug user in New Zealand is to NEVER, EVER, NEVER (REPEAT – NEVER!) REPORT TO ANYONE, ANYWHERE, ANY TIME, ADMITTING YOU NEED HELP WITH A DRUG PROBLEM.

You are signing your own ticket to being anally penetrated by large health professional dildos for the rest of your living days.

They will even help make your living days shorter by blaming your pains on your methadone level.

You will then find out, rather too late, the chest pains are lung cancer. The pain in your head is not imaginary. They should not have given your more methadone. You had a bloody brain bleed.

The list goes on.

Why do I have a headache?!!!

BREATHE. Centre myself…
Serenity for a short period.

Serenity is imagining that John Campbell looks up a technical psychopath diagnosis, applies it to John Key and interviews him at 7.05 on live TV without warning. John Key will not blink. Mainly due to his psycho nature denying him this ability.

Anyway…. Serene….

Two people died recently. Both with cancer. Both on methadone. Both with rather large issues that the addiction services should answer to. Both had complaints handled by me in the months before their deaths. One day addict disservices just may answer. Don’t hold your breath.

In the meantime the addicts at the bottom are handling astounding amounts of bullshit.

“Addicts need control and regimented care” – Doctor X, Wellington Addiction Services, 2014.

“Addicts need a life, a say in their lives, and happiness. Then they can be considered non-problematic and can be left to their own devices. A happy person will join community and economy. An unhappy one will continue to drain the system.” ME – addressing a government official whom actually seemed very very interested Nov 2014.

Today I was kind of serene for a while. Handing stuff over works okay. There was no way my court appearance today was going to upset me, or throw me off balance. I rolled, I timed, I punched.

I said crazy things such as (in no precise order) ;

  • “no your honour, I do not want a lawyer, I am rather stupidly saving this country thousands of dollars a year in this way….”
  • “excuse me your honour, but I see the Police have not got that paperwork, may it please the court that in relation to my previous criminal record, I can say this is the first charge of this nature, although I do have two counts of assault with weapon and four or five historic counts of assault police and / or prison guard. At least I was consistent with whom.”
  • “if my lawyer was any smarter I would advise him to appeal this guilty verdict. However, since I trust him implicitly, he is suggesting I ask for my fines to be remitted by way of community service and… Wait… Sorry your honour. He is now telling me to shut up before I dig a large hole.”
  • “Your honour, I truly was astounded and annoyed at being found guilty on this matter. Obviously the previous judge had to find me guilty of something as it just smelt bad….”
  • “Sir, we are all innocent. It is just the hopeless state of lawyers in this country that has got anyone convicted…”
  • “I would suggest, if I may be so bold, that even though no person has asked for a sentencing report, that the probation and the police services seem totally unprepared, that the probation service would be glad to have me on a work service programme. Most likely cutting weeds on the roadside (probation lady nods agreement) rather than a cushy office job. But, let’s face it, getting out in the sun is beneficial to the community. I need the vitamin D for mental health….”

The judge said such thought inducing things such as (again, no real order) ;

  • Are you sure you do not wish a court lawyer to advise you further?”
  • “Are you sure you’re sure……”
  • “Sure?”
  • Really?”
    (okay, this is an exaggeration, he only asked twice….)
  • “I am sure almost everyone whom comes before me for sentencing would be annoyed at being found guilty….”
  • “I cannot work out why there has been no pre-sentence report, no assessments, no victim impact reports, nothing at all has been called for. I do note, however, you have produced a hasty section 88 remit of fines. You do realise what this will mean?”

“Yes, your honour. A bloody great whopping amount of community work hours.”

  • “Not necessarily, Mr NZFIEND. Do you have anything further to say before I pass sentence?”
  • “Well, yes, actually a hell of a lot your honour. But possibly nothing that will enhance your knowledge, sway your scales or otherwise influence the decision before you. I would like to say that I have learnt from this. I was honestly trying to help, and it went badly wrong. It has cost me in ways that are not worth going into given time restraints of current daylight hours. I am happy that the judge who found me guilty made special mention of the facts that it was an “altercation” and that I had tried to de-esculate deit to the best of my ability. I have shown obvious remorse at this event and situation. You will not see me before the court due to anything similar in future.”
  • “Yes. Well… Uhm… Maybe you should have read the judges decision. She states ANY judge can sentence on this matter. Which is really unusual. She did not order any reports… Well, you were justified in most aspects. The ‘self defence’ defence is somewhat justifiable, but you have been found guilty.”
  • “I guess she threw all the marbles in the air and a few more fell on the side of unjustifiable rather than justifiable….”

And, so saying. I got a total of 200 hours community work.

Got $6669 NZ remitted for eighty of those hours. Almost seven grand for eighty hours is over $80 an hour. I have not got that sort of money often in life. And when I have it has all been spent on drugs faster than it came in.

Getting sentenced and getting out of the court and police system made me very happy. Even with two hundred hours of slavery to complete. I am truly happy.

I got another tattoo. It is pretty crap. Still, I like it.

 

And tomorrow there is a funeral and party for my old mate. And the day after that there is another. For another old mate.

Both dead before the average NZ life expectancy. Both spent decades on methadone. 

Both examples of those who do not appear in the long and well studied data presented by MATUA RAKI.

Headache and stress. Sponsored by the people whom give me them!……….

matua

 

 

 

 

 

 

Postscript —- to-live-life-on-your-own-terms-you-have-to-be-prepared-to-crash-and-burn/ I thought 100 hours community work in this post months ago. Nostradamus not quite.

Russell

RUSSELL CROWE is about nine years older than me and born just down the road in Wellington, New Zealand.

Until today he is the only New Zealand thing that we NZ’ers gladly let the Australians claim as their own.

RUSSELL BRAND is a completely different kettle of fish. We don’t care where he is from at all.

Life is interesting. I am an sickness beneficiary who pays for flights to attend addiction conferences out of less than $100 a week, proof that my phone and internet are due to be cut available upon request.

My place to stay (NSA fun is not always such, asked RUSSELL) fell through so an overnight walk 20miles to the airport seemed fair enough. The blisters and the cold were nothing. Walking through the metal detectors four hours early and having time to kill meant that a copy of R3VOLUTION fell into my hands. Communism at it’s finest.

russeee

 

Then again, RUSSELL CROWE is now a staunch Wellingtonian due utmost respect.

He is making a movie. A picture with movement. The picture of motion is about ANZAC involvement in Turkish conflict during Wurlde War 1. He is on television right now doing something special.

For the last century we have celebrated, as ANZACS, the involvement of our armed forces in invading this sovereign nation that we have never had a bad word against, before nor after.

We killed 70,000 nationals in their own country.

We still have nothing on the Opium wars.

But, thanks RUSSELL.

Both of you idle sods deserve a plug. Maybe some capitalist addicts will read this and buy books, movie tickets and product. You will then cunningly use this to subvert the very ideology that supports it.

Bottoms up lads.

Have not used opiates for a year, but addiction services want me on the methadone. FFS

Just spent a rather criminally waste of time advocating for a guy at New Zealand’s Capital Coast District Health Board (CCDHB) Addiction Services (Addict DisServices).

There a whole heap of errors and facts that could be argued in their statements of reasoning as to why they have taken all take home doses away from this pensioner with cancer and sharp pains in his lower abdomen. Pain in lower abdomen after having HEP C for twenty years, liver cancer, radiation, chemotherapy and open operations? Wow. Surprising much?

He wants to reduce off methadone, as long as sevredol (MST) or other concoctions are available as the need is required for his acknowledged pain management.

They will not have a bar of it.

When discussing the fact that people cannot just jump off methadone as it does not work (their words, not mine) the subject of me came up. They were saying no one has been successful, it is highly not recommended, etc etc etc. A few points I could take issue with there.

ONE OF THEM BEING

NO ONE HAS JUST JUMPED OFF AND BEEN “SUCCESSFUL”.

Their definitions of “successful”, “recovery”, “addiction” and “service user input” are very different from mine.

Their definition of “NO ONE” is pretty clear.

But, wait on, I jumped off pretty much 80mg’s every day a year and a half ago.

I did. You can read about it on the worlds shittest blog. Day 13 was hard. Day 500 not so much.

The good doctor, Sarah B, then looked interested (for first time since we walked in) and told me I should join the methadone waiting list to get on the program myself.

I laughed.

I commented about her being funnier than Lenny Henry.

I think I hid my anger at the stupidity of the situation well.

Unfortunately my friend would not give them a piss test as he had been to the toilet, is a pensioner, and an old man. If he does not want to, or is not able to, give a piss test a simple advocate such as myself is not going to sway him.

I would have given them one myself. I even offered to. They obviously think everyone is on drugs. The amount of information they twist and distort without anyone ever noticing (…. ooops … cat is out the bag now…. !)

Seriously —-  offering me a place on the methadone programme without any diagnosis other than my own verbal assurances I had stopped taking a lot of methadone last year. No worries about my arthritis in spine. No worries about equine cordia. No worries about ADHD. No worries about the facts I don’t use opiates, alcohol, benzo’s.,….. No worries at all.

“HEY, EVEN THOUGH YOU ARE NOT ON DRUGS,
HAVE NO DEPENDENCE ISSUES…
THE RATE OF “FAILURE” IS SO HIGH WE ARE
ADVISING YOU TO GET ON METHADONE.”
CCDHB ADDICTION SERVICE, Nov 2014
amazeballs

That way they get to keep their funding and probably keep “addiction” in the medical model. But seriously, if recovery means WORK and SOCIAL and FAMILY goals, then we could be on dangerous ground.

Recovery is what the user wants it be. My life, in some ways, would benefit from large scale opiate use. I would take up long distance running, start working as a builder again and have dreams of becoming the worlds oldest and most arthritic pro footballer.

Maybe they really need to start looking at service user happiness.

Maybe they should read some Bruce K Alexander and Gabor Mate.

And work very hard on their definition of “failure”.

Sunday morning

Hairy dog? Sunday morning?
No way.

Football coach. And kid. Quiet Newtown, New Zealand. Loverly. Absolutely Positively lovely.

Photo taken by balancing phone in the side netting of the main goal. No one else around at all. Totally quiet. Not a noise from anywhere.

Perfect spot for hangover recovery.

For five minutes.

Hundreds of kids needing attention, advice and first aid arrive in half an hour.

Along with their up tight and overly aggressive parents.

After waking up every day for years with symptoms best described as “feeling shit” and having to cure these symptoms by having more of whatever it was that bought on the symptoms… Well…

Stuff me.

Silent Sunday morning in Newtown, Wellington, New Zealand.

Can’t beat it on a good day.

Dopamine deficiency?  Nah, seeing all the kids looking up and proudly seeking approval from their coach does not give enough space for that particular hole to need filling.

 

http://blog.hellosundaymorning.org/2014/08/sunday-kathryn-reilly/