Self-reported for diversion

  1. Just here for advice. Not to be beat down. Diversion in the worse thing in nursing. I self reported. I diverted hydro and oxy on two separate occasions. The guilt of it overtook me and I self reported then contacted our states Licensee Assistance Program. In Nebraska. I honestly can't say what led me to divert or why and there are really no excuses. I've beaten myself up enough. I had a bilateral mastectomy a year ago. No issues with refilling my own medication after. I left my abusive ex spouse during that time as he was no support. I lost my sister to breast cancer at 23. She was my best friend. I went through an ugly custody battle. But what tipped it off was over school break for my kiddos my ex lost his job and uprooted them during his week with them. Without court approval or my knowledge and against court orders. I'd been suffering from depression and panic attacks knowing I have to take him back to court again. I have never had depression or panic attacks before and the feelings were intensely overwhelming. I diverted. I took the medication two separate times at home and it calmed me down and took away those panicked feelings. But the guilt of my action overtook me. I did my intake and cried the whole time. The counselor doesn't see my as a drug or alcohol abuser. She stated she felt like had come to a head for me and I didn't know how to cope. She isn't recommending random drug screens just counseling for me. She has submitted her report to the board of nursing. I don't know what will happen from there but I will certainly comply with everything. I have since gotten involved with a domestic violence shelter that offers some support group sessions and my primary physician has placed me on a low dose antidepressant which seems to be helping. As well as Xanax lowest dose prn. Panic attacks are overwhelming. It's just the fear of if my children are alright that or if they need me that causes these intense feelings of panic. Slowly they are becoming more manageable. I'm doing everything I can to stay the course. Nursing has been my life for almost a decade with nothing in my record. I'm afraid of what's going to happen to me. Adult protective services has filled out their report as well due to me self reporting. They are calling it neglect and theft. I'm so intensely ashamed but I wholly accept what I've done. I did not want to get to the point of being unsafe in the work place, with a monstrous addiction, or dead. I read all the horror stories about nurses, EMTs, physicians who are sucked in to addiction so quickly. I want my career in nursing still. It's my livelihood. Especially now that I have to go back to court again and hold my ex in contempt of court orders. I must say that life gets extremely overwhelming. I was doing fine through my mastectomy and rebuilding my life post divorce. But when I got the call from my 7 year old in tears saying they had moved and dad took them out of school and enrolled them elsewhere I couldn't function. I lost myself then. He moved them two hours away when we were sharing custody prior to his move. I'm fighting hard for them. But now I also have to deal with the board of nursing. I'm working on expunging my record with APS in the hopes that they will see I am complying with everything as well as being fully accountable for my actions. Any thoughts from nurses having gone through this? Any advice? Will I be able to stay in nursing? I just don't know anymore.
  2. Visit Barton82 profile page

    About Barton82

    Joined: May '18; Posts: 1; Likes: 5

    7 Comments

  3. by   rn1965
    I am so sorry for everything you are going through. I would definitely tell you to keep logging in here. I have found a tremendous amount of support from my fellow nurses.

    Take care of yourself first, then everything else second.

    Good luck to you!
  4. by   Recovering_RN
    I am so sorry for everything you're dealing with. You've got a lot on your plate but you'll just have to break it down into one day, one form, one email, one phone call, one report, one appointment at a time. Make lists and set things down on your calendar to keep yourself organized. You are going to have a ton of requirements to fulfill for all the various things going on in your life and it can get overwhelming if you don't stay organized.

    I see exactly what the counselor is saying as far as recommending counseling for you but not recommending random drug screens, however, don't get your hopes up on that one. The only way these monitoring programs can keep track of us, make sure we are doing what we are supposed to be doing (or rather, NOT doing what we are NOT supposed to be doing), is by making us subject to random drug screens. I mean, you diverted a couple times, how do they know you aren't doing it again? There's no way for them to be sure without drug screens. The random nature of the tests increases stress exponentially as well as the constant fear of a false positive for something innocent like hand sanitizer or salad dressing that turns out to have been made with wine vinegar. If all I had to do was go to counseling and fill out monthly/quarterly reports, well heck, this would be a piece of cake! It's the random drug screens that make these programs so difficult and it's very very rare that any nurse wouldn't be subject to them. In fact, I've never heard of that happening. I don't want to discourage you even more than you already are, and it may turn out that you don't have to do the drug screens after all, I just don't want you to plan on that just yet.

    Good luck with everything and definitely keep posting here. It will help keep you sane!
  5. by   Persephone Paige
    Hi Barton,

    I'm glad you're here. My hat's off to you for getting yourself some help, I think you are going through a series of very difficult life experiences. We are human, the fact that we are held to higher standards still doesn't change that fact. I'm not trying to make excuses for your actions, but how often do we nurses take time for a trip to our GP for stress related issues? Almost never... We go to a doctor when we are on death's door. I too am a cancer survivor.

    Remember, you have already overcome a lot. As RecoveringRN pointed out, you can break this all down into manageable tasks. A single step forward daily is a successful day. There may be days where you have to take a step back and regroup, or stay stationary. Those aren't wasted days either. Take care of yourself first, and keep coming back here.

    Welcome!

    Persephone
    Last edit by Persephone Paige on May 17 : Reason: OCD
  6. by   sallyrnrrt
    Keep coming back, I promise it can get better

    Best wishes
    Sally
  7. by   Have Nurse
    Quote from Persephone Paige
    Hi Barton,

    I'm glad you're here. My hat's off to you for getting yourself some help, I think you are going through a series of very difficult life experiences. We are human, the fact that we are held to higher standards still doesn't change that fact. I'm not trying to make excuses for your actions, but how often do we nurses take time for a trip to our GP for stress related issues? Almost never... We go to a doctor when we are on death's door. I too am a cancer survivor.

    Remember, you have already overcome a lot. As RecoveringRN pointed out, you can break this all down into manageable tasks. A single step forward daily is a successful day. There may be days where you have to take a step back and regroup, or stay stationary. Those aren't wasted days either. Take care of yourself first, and keep coming back here.

    Welcome!

    Persephone
    What a beautiful and wonderful thing to say to your hurting nursing "sister." It warms my heart to read practical advice offered with love.

    Well done to you, Persephone for your compassion and support. And well done to you, Barton, for "owning it" and taking steps forward.

    You are in my prayers. He sees it all.

    You aren't walking alone. Remember that.

    I know what you mean by fear and anxiety. My former spouse many years ago, took my children out of the country for 2 years when he got assigned to Korea. I won't dredge it up now, as I too, have had my own journey, but I will say this: I came through and you will too!!!

    Sending hugs!!!!!
  8. by   StillRN
    Welcome! I'm sorry you are going through this, I wouldn't wish it upon anyone. But you are not alone! This board is full of Nurses who know very well the fears and anxiety you are going through! a lot of us still live it Everyday! Like I said, you are definitely not ALONE! It feels like it now, but we are in this boat together. Ignore any negative comments. You may see them here from people who sit on their high horses and like to judge. But they are not perfect either and no one will every truly understand until they have gone through it themselves! Not a single one of us just woke up one day and Said... "hey self.. you know what would be fun.. becoming and addict, getting fired, maybe getting some legal charges, and spending the next 3-5 years going broke in nursing prison.... things have been a little boring in my life lately, so, yeah, let's do this"!!

    Keep coming back and take it one day at a time. Thinking about the whole picture all of the time is just too overwhelming!

    Take care of yourself first! You are in my thoughts and prayers.
  9. by   Eris Discordia BSN, RN
    Oh sweetie...life has certainly thrown you a brick to the face. It is beyond commendable that you were able to stop yourself rather quickly and ask for help. I'm sure many of us wish me had done the same...at a minimum I wish I had done that.

    As others have said, taking care of your sanity is literally the most important thing now. Recovering said it perfectly regarding taking things one form, one call, one email at a time. This whole process is nothing if not slow. My therapist told me something that is super cheesy but has resonated hard with me.

    How do you manage to eat an entire elephant?
    One bite at a time.

    Because that is absolutely what it feels like. Dealing with the issues that got you here takes precedence over everything, otherwise, well...we can never heal. And you are doing that! Taking care of your mental health first will make all the rest infinitely more bearable.

    As for what your monitoring program looks like, try to tuck that in the back of your mind until you get things in writing. Some things that the intake counselor told me about my monitoring were true...some things were not. So, in the mean time, just deal with what you CAN deal with now.

    Try not to imagine what your program will be like, because many, many people have a say in what our contracts look like. And of course it all varies by state, who evaluates you, what turns up in their investigation of your medical records and nursing practice, yada yada yada. Even how much investigation they actually do varies. They dug into my medical and work history like it was King Tut's tomb site. I've worked with others that got just a basic investigation. Since it's out of your hands now, try to focus on what you CAN control right now.

    It may sound cheesy, but we ARE here for you. Venting, virtual tears, victories, and defeats. Based on what you've said, I personally have great hope that you will absolutely get to continue your nursing career. It's just going to take effort to prove over time that you are in a safer, better place. But it's certainly not impossible to survive this...and judging by how strong you sound, I'm confident you will do just that!

    Best, warmest wishes to you.
    Last edit by Eris Discordia BSN, RN on May 20

close