Please Know...

As I come to know these fine people, they share with me more of their personal and sensitive stories. Their collective story is what I am trying to share with you as my way of breaking the stereotypical beliefs that exist. "Blog names" have occasionally been given to me by the person whose story I am telling. Names are never their actual names and wherever I can do so, I might use the opposite pronoun (his/her, etc.) just to help increase their privacy.


Thursday, October 22, 2020

Are you enjoying to any degree the pleasures of your substance use? Your ready moment for healing does not need to be built on the rocks at the bottom.

A few days ago, I had a conversation with a man who was heading to detox.  His story was not typical of those you normally hear.  This man had a job.  He was paying his own bills.  He bought his own groceries.  His substance use was an issue but it was not causing any significant problems in his life. 

His family was going through some major issues, not the slightest bit related to this man's substance use.  Multiple deaths by unrelated various natural causes in his family within a very short time led to a staggering level of pain and confusion as to how to handle all of the new dynamics within his family. 

This man told me that he loved the feeling that his substances were giving him.  He emphasized how these substances were not causing any significant problems in HIS world… 

BUT… 

He knew that his family needed him to be there for them and be there 100% with his physical, spiritual, and intellectual presence and abilities.  This is where his substances were getting in the way.  He realized that he could not consume his substances AND be fully present to his family. 

From his perspective and within his desire to keep experiencing the pleasures of his substances, he made a self-sacrificial decision and chose to focus on the needs of his family.  He did what he knew he needed to do to be fully present with them.  He put aside his own pleasures of his substances and entered detox and then rehab. 

This man did not wait to hit that supposedly required moment of "rock bottom."  Rather than looking down and waiting to find the rocks or for the rocks to find him, he looked up to the needs of his loved ones and climbed the hill of healing so as to regain his full presence with them. 

********** 

Are you enjoying to any degree the pleasures of your substance use?  

Do you have a family longing for your 100% presence with them?  Are your closest loved ones getting up in years?  Do you have children who don't know you as a fully present parent?  Do you have an educational degree waiting to be used again? 

Any of these reasons and so many more for not waiting for rock bottom to find you are reasons to climb that hill of healing. 

Your ready moment for healing does not need to be built on the rocks at the bottom.

Wednesday, October 21, 2020

Sophia Sits Saturated in Sadness

Sophia sat saturated in sadness at the prospect of missing her daughter's likely random visit on this day.  

Her daughter turns 17 today and Sophia knows that her daughter would want to visit her homeless Mom at the God-Forsaken street corner of This and That Streets in the suburbs surrounding Emerald City.

And so Sophia sat soaked in the sweat of dope sickness knowing full well that she could find healing after one 'date' and the quick purchase of a little blue bag of 'medicine.'  

"I don't want to miss my daughter's visit on this, her 17th birthday."

Tears of a broken-hearted Mom and the Trembles of Dope Sickness competed for Sophia's attention and yet her determination set sickness aside in the hopes of hearing from her deeply devoutly cherished daughter.

**********

To occupy her time between dates and consuming her 'medicine' Sophia paints pictures.  As a resident of the streets of Kensington, she is limited on supplies and locations to paint.  But her passion persists.  

A few days ago, she chose the flat metal surface of a trash dumpster that had been parked near where I found her earlier today.


Sophia is an artist and a Suburban County resident reliant on Medicaid to pay for the treatment she needs to put aside her Substance Use Disorder and pursue her passion for painting.  

Sophia is a patient with a Substance Use Disorder.

Sophia is not "an addict" nor is she any of those derogatory terms used to describe a person who begrudgingly provides sexual services so as to raise funds to purchase drugs she'd rather not be consuming.   

Sophia is a Mom and an artist.  

Sophia is a woman worthy of dignity, honor, respect, and love.  

Sophia is worthy of dignity filled health care provided by people who pledged their medical careers to the ideals of Hippocrates.  

Sophia is not one of "them."  

Sophia is an extension of "us."

**********

Sophia Sits Saturated in Sadness…

Thursday, October 8, 2020

It is absolutely wrong of the medical establishment within the Medicaid system to cast the sole blame on the patient as to why they are not seeking services. To take that attitude is to take the attitude that cancer should cure itself.

Time and time again, I hear from the Medicaid reliant men and women on the streets of Kensington and those who have been given housing these related and similar phrases: 

"If I didn't have to wait so long for treatment in a crisis center, I would go to detox right now." 

"My caseworker is trying to arrange it so I can get my medical clearance and go directly to detox without waiting in the crisis center for hours." 

This unreasonable wait time with its accompanying humiliations and the inevitable onset of dope sickness as I have described in recent blogs is a major reason why so many of our nation's sons and daughters don't even bother seeking medical services. 

Some people will argue this point by saying that the Substance Use Disorder patient is simply '"not ready" for treatment and that they "just don't want it bad enough to go through the existing process." 

There is an element of truth to that just as there is for any of us who have been told by our doctor that at some point we will need medical intervention for something that is not as it should be within our own bodies.  When that point comes for us that we decide we are "ready" we go for the treatment, have whatever therapies are required, and move on with life.  As we have done so, we've been warmly and professionally greeted and treated in a generally pleasant environment as a person worthy of dignity and respect. 

Such is not the case for Medicaid reliant patients of Substance Use Disorder. 

It is absolutely wrong of the medical establishment within the Medicaid system to cast the sole blame on the patient as to why they are not seeking services.  To take that attitude is to take the attitude that cancer should cure itself.  

The medical establishment must be willing to receive input from its customers - In this case, patients of Substance Use Disorder - compare that input with its own processes and procedures and act on its findings to improve the system.  

Once that is done, the medical establishment must develop respectful and dignified ways to REALLY connect with the people on the streets and let them know that they will be welcomed with prompt dignity, honor, respect, and love when their "ready" arrives. 

A patient who knows that they will be treated as a human being who is worthy of dignity, honor, respect, and love will be more willing to consider taking that next step toward healing.  

That's just human nature.

Monday, October 5, 2020

The Representatives of Hippocrates within this Medicaid health care system required of street bound Substance Use Disorder patients MUST review their processes of health care provision! They can seek the input of these patients, make corrections and improve their processes. In so doing, much of this crisis of mind-blowing and staggering unnecessary suffering and overdose and death will be eliminated.

When any patient of any illness or any injury gets to the point with that medical condition where they want care by a professional medical provider they go to the appropriate place.  They make an appointment with their primary care physician or go to the local emergency room.  With a sudden severe cut or unexpected fall or traffic accident they will, out of something resembling a knee jerk reaction, go to the local emergency room. 

An unexplainable severe pain in any part of the body or symptoms of a cold or virus will send them with little thought to the same or to their primary care physician. 

Far more often than not, they will be greeted with dignity and respect as they arrive and go through the health care receiving process.  The medical providers will do what they do so well as they begin to provide healing to their patient. 

For some of these patients, the need for medical care is noticeable but not so severe that they go immediately for that care.  The medical situation builds with time and eventually, the pain is severe enough that the patient goes to the appropriate facility. 

This second category of patient more accurately describes the plight of the person of Substance Use Disorder combined with homelessness.  At first, the pain of the situation is not severe enough to knee jerk them to the emergency room.  Eventually, pain builds to the point when it's time to seek care. 

With every ounce of their soul's determination, this human being makes their way to the local crisis center and not the local emergency room[1].  I have provided two blogs that clearly show what people go through in this Medicaid required process: 

Why is one of my loved ones from the streets of Kensington having to go back to a crisis center for the third consecutive day so as to MAYBE be admitted to a detox unit that accepts Medicaid patients? 

A Tale of Addiction, One Set of Fraternal Twins And Two Sets of SimulatedHardwood Floors

 

The bottom line is this: 

The patient with a sudden cut, unexpected fall, traffic accident, cold, virus, or Substance Use Disorder, immediately or eventually are all patients of people who have vowed their professions to the ideals of Hippocrates. 

No system of health care provision is perfect and every process of health care provision warrants self-examination and improvement of the identifiable weak areas within existing processes.   

Medicaid reliant street residing patients of Substance Use Disorder have clearly expressed their concerns regarding the failures of the system in which they are required to seek care.  Undignified environments and unreasonable wait times combined with an absence of comfort care during that wait lead to giving up on receiving care, seeking their own comfort care[2] and for some, overdosing and dying before they build up again enough soul determination to enter the Medicaid required process one more time. 

With every ounce of their soul's determination, these patients have decided to seek care for their condition.  It is not the place of representatives of Hippocrates to institute additional obstacles to receiving that care.  It is the privilege of these providers to welcome and encourage and to celebrate this moment of desired care and to connect in a healthful way with these human beings who are worthy of dignity, honor, respect, and love. 

The representatives of Hippocrates within this Medicaid health care system required of street bound Substance Use Disorder patients MUST review their processes of health care provision!  They can seek the input of these patients, make corrections, and improve their processes.  In so doing, much of this crisis of mind-blowing and staggering unnecessary suffering and overdose and death will be eliminated.


[1] A requirement of the current system

[2] by way of their next unwanted heroin injection