In one of those moments that could have only been coordinated by God, I arrived a few minutes earlier than normal and parked where I normally do not. I got out of my car and there she was. Our mutual joy in seeing each other was spontaneous and overflowing. We walked toward each other and hugged the hug of loved ones who had not seen each other in a long time.
I’d not seen her in a couple of months and was growing concerned that something had happened. I had no way of knowing where to find her other than checking hospitals and jails.
As she beamed her delight for life in the midst of her challenges, she shared with me what she’d been doing during those missing months…
“I moved home and had been on Methadone for two months. I didn’t do any opioids that whole time.”
I celebrated with her as did Tom and Jonathan, two men who join me on Wednesdays, and then delicately asked why she was there now…
“My dad threw me out of the house yesterday. I had nowhere to go so I came back here where I know people. My Methadone dose isn’t high enough and so I used opioids last night for the first time in two months and I overdosed. (My friend here) saved me with Narcan. That threw me into precipitated withdrawal and so I used a tiny bit more just to get over that and I overdosed again and (my friend) saved me again.”
I turned to her friend, a man I’ve come to know, and I thanked him for being there for her. I gave him two more Narcan from my supply that had been given to me by the Medics on the Rapid Response vehicle.
She then added this…
“Prior to moving home and starting on Methadone, I was using about two bundles every 24 hours. I never overdosed. I stopped using and started again with one packet last night and overdosed right away.”
“I wish you could have just stayed home,” I added.
“Well, it’s better that I’m here. My dad was touching me too much.”
*****Stop reading and contemplate that statement!*****
From her understandable perspective, it’s better to live homeless doing opioids than it is to live at home.
Our conversation continued for a bit and came to a natural close as she walked to the corner or “This and That Streets” so as to be picked up by some random guy who in our moments of conversation neither of us knew existed on this earth. She was in his car within minutes.
For funding of her Medicine that she needs due to a too low dose of Methadone, her MAT medicine that could save her life, she has little choice but to allow herself to be touched too much by a random guy and touch him in ways that no one should touch another except in the most intimate and committed of relationships.
If she overdoses again, will she survive? If she survives and ends up in a local emergency room, will she be treated like a medical patient with Substance Use Disorder?
Dear Emergency Room Medical/Nursing/Support Staff,
If this dear soul which beams brightly even in the midst of her life's darkness should come before you in her time of crisis, please treat her as the inspirational human being made in the image of God worthy of dignity, honor, respect, and love who she absolutely is.
Please do not be misguided if she comes to you malnourished, emaciated, and with the physical appearance of your grandmother. Remember, she's in her twenties.
Please remember that within what you see with your eyes, there beats the young heart of a soul who wants to heal. Her mind is in a civil war like no other civil war on this planet. Please use your medical skills and your compassion that brought you into your chosen medical field to help her win her battle for her betterment.
Please do not allow any prejudices that may exist within you to provide anything less than excellent medical intervention for her. Do not tell her to "Get out of my emergency room." as did one RN to another of my loved ones. Do not tell her that you're discharging her because "We need your bed for real patients" as someone did to yet another loved one on January 3 of this year. That one died four days later.
Please use your medical/nursing/support skills as best as is possible to connect with her and to encourage her to stay the course and stay focused on the healing that can be found. She needs you to be her strength and guide and all mechanism of artillery to win her civil war.
In the belief that you will do so,
 That's 32 bags of heroin/fentanyl at $5.00 per bag totaling $160.00 per day requiring 5 to 10 'dates' per 24 hour cycle to have the money.
 Medication-Assisted Treatment - An officially recognized method of treatment for Substance Use Disorder patients