NIDA presents The Addiction Performance Project, Panelist Reaction

NIDA presents The Addiction Performance Project, Panelist Reaction


[Music] [Leonard Reeves speaking]
When I first came to this day I was thinking more in the lines of how I would see this
in terms of my patients’ lives. But I must tell you, it became very personal. My father
in law had trouble with alcohol and he died of liver failure.
He had had brothers that had done the same thing. I lost my wife 2 years ago, she died
of liver failure. I saw these arguments, I saw these discussions. I was part of it. I,
it resonated with me when one person, when the mother talked about wanting to get rid
of all of the pain. It also resonated when they talked about, the mother talked, about
maybe one day I’ll just take an overdose. It’s very personal. I’m glad I had not seen
this before and I’m happy I saw it today, even though it definitely hurts. We have to
put ourselves in those positions so that we can resonate with our patients. I think back
to the man that couldn’t hold a job because he was alcoholic. First time I met him he
had seizures. It was withdrawal seizures. So we, he came to me for his seizure medications,
but every time he came he had a different job. I think of that and then I think of my wife and this, there’s a guilt there that I feel
like I didn’t do what I should have done. I guess that’s part of it. [Lee Carter speaking]
I heard when Mary was speaking, I heard my little lady. Hers was not hands. Hers was
knees. And how she mentioned she took the medicine for the pain. Rheumatism in the hands
and you did a marvelous job of expressing that cause it was the pain, the pain, the
pain. Oh in the hands you know it, supposed to talk about here. And then what are the
things that are running through my mind. The denial, the embarrassments, but then I started
thinking about the issues we ran into when they became the fifth vital sign. A qualitative
entity that we’re supposed to quantitate. I thought about HIPAA. How do I get her to
tell me her story and then be able to hear everybody else’s story when I’m not allowed
to, ok. I can’t go to without permission and yeah they give permission but then the family
says well you need to know this but you won’t let them know that I told you. Am I speaking?
You hear me, you hear me. You know what I’m talking about don’t you? (applause)
How cause you know I mean how am I supposed to know this if you don’t if you’re not the
one telling me and yeah they’re going to know that you’ve told me. How am I supposed to
hide that? Oh lord, can’t I go in another room, just look at a simple ear infection. [Lisa Soldat speaking]
I had not heard this play before but it sure, it just brought up a lot of intense emotions
and, and me thinking about how complicated family dynamics are and how we are all family
physicians and deal with it all the time. And also I thought about an old prescription
that I have framed on my wall in my office that comes from the prohibition era for whiskey.
One teaspoon Q 4 hours, wasn’t PRN, it was just that was it and it was from 1926. So
it reminded me of that how often we used things like alcohol as medicine.
And how hard it is to teach, teach our patients and residents and colleagues about how, how
do you discern when what’s a medicine and what’s not. So that’s kind of, that was my
initial reaction. [Russell Breish speaking]This was fascinating to watch, very powerful.
Have some of these issues in some of my extended family, that can see how those conversations
may have gone around the dinner table with some of those folks.
When I think about my patients, I think about folks the character who had pain in her hands.
We know that we sometimes under treat pain. The other piece that hit me during this presentation
was there was shame about having somebody in the family who was a dope fiend but there
was also shame about being a drunk. The father had to hide his alcohol in the basement. The
mother had to get the maid to pick up her prescription. I thought that was fascinating.
We all know they are both very similar diseases. Eugene O’Neill knew that as well.

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