Monday, May 5, 2014

Great day in clinic

Had a great day in clinic today, seeing patients in all stages of their recovery from opioid and other substance use disorders.

Saw a young man who has been stable on methadone for 10 years, and is just about to graduate from a higher education professional course. He's looking forward to completing one more specialized course and then working in healthcare. He came in for a stye on his eyelid.

Saw a woman who is finally able to acknowledge, after over a year of ups and downs, that she's depressed, and relapsing to benzodiazepines after detoxification won't make that any better. Getting her on an antidepressant ASAP. Teamwork with counselor and clinical supervisor as part of the visit really made a huge difference.

Saw a pregnant woman who is now stabilized on an effective methadone dose after switching from buprenorphine that wasn't really working for her. She's looking forward to becoming a mom soon and continuing her care with us after her delivery.

With our two amazing nurse care managers, saw a homeless woman with opioid use disorder that is stable with methadone but struggling with alcohol use. When we showed her her abnormal liver function tests from last week, she immediately agreed to alcohol detoxification -- but would like for it be done as an outpatient. Thanks to amazing teamwork, we are starting that tomorrow with gabapentin and careful nursing monitoring.

Saw an older gentleman who has been stable on methadone for 7 years and wants to quit smoking. He's tried nicotine patches in the past but they haven't worked. So we're trying bupropion this time and he's setting himself a quit date. He's going to see our Nurse Care Manager and follow up with his counselor for extra counseling and support.

Each story is unique but at the end of the day, each story is about a person working hard to make a better life for his or herself. That can happen with medication-assisted treatment.