Friday, June 22, 2007

Betty Ford Center - Day 4

Sorry....I skipped Day 3! Too tired yesterday!!!

Today we had a really good lecture on drugs of abuse from a Physician Assistant here at the Betty Ford Center. We talked about to counteract the effects with other drugs....withdrawal effects.....and overdose consequences. We discussed clues that might alert us to whether or not a patient is seeking drugs....and how to protect ourselves as physicians. The guy lecturing was very charismatic and funny! He quizzed our medical knowledge and it was a very interactive lecture. I learned a ton from him and hope he will be lecturing again tomorrow. Coincidentally, he was a recovering crack cocaine addict who had been sober for 16 years.

We also got to sit in on an AA meeting that was only meant for doctors. We had 5 physicians that had become addicted to either drugs or alcohol....and they shared their stories with us. That really opened my eyes to this horrible disease.

Tomorrow is my last day....and I am going to be sad to leave. I have completely changed my "stereotypical" view of a addict. Now I know there is NO typical view of an addict. Addiction affects all walks of life and knows no boundaries. The disease doesn't look like anything. It looks like everything.

Have a fabulous night!!! Until tomorrow....

Tuesday, June 19, 2007

Betty Ford Center - Day 2

Once again, I have just had an AWESOME day here at the Betty Ford Center.

This morning we got to sit in on a "Treatment Planning Update" (TPU). The purpose of the TPU is for all of the care-givers - including the doctor, nurse, therapist, case manager, counselor, personal trainer, nutritionist and spirituality counselor - to give updates on the management of the patient. For example, the spirituality counselor might get some information from the patient that might be useful for the counselor. It gives them all the chance to find out how the patient is doing in ALL aspects of their life.

This evening we had a lecture on the history of Alcoholics Anonymous and then later got to attend an AA meeting. It was a wonderful experience. It is a chance for alcoholics to see that they aren't alone. Their stories aren't unique. Their stories won't surprise anyone. They have friends in the other members. And, by sharing their stories and trying to help other alcoholics achieve sobriety, they are inevitably helping themselves to maintain sobriety. Again, it was a wonderful experience.

I will keep you all updated again tomorrow!
Have a wonderful day!

Monday, June 18, 2007

Betty Ford Center - Day 1

Today was an amazing day!!!

I feel like I am not here as an observer....I am here as a participant. Although I am "Brooke the Medical Student," I am not here to give advice or judge people...I am here to get an inside-out view of addiction and use this experience to later help me in my career.

As I was writing my required journal entry this evening, I was posed with the question "What have you learned today?"

Today, I learned that alcohol and drug addiction is only a symptom of another underlying issue. Every story that was shared during small group was something I could see in myself. The emotions, the feelings, and the experiences were all ones that I had had myself. Although I don't turn to alcohol or drugs to cope, I am no different and no better than any of the patients in the Betty Ford Rehabilitation program.

Tomorrow we do it all over again. I expect that the patients will continue to open up a little more as they get to know and trust me. For as intense as today was, I expect that each of the next few days will be even more so. I feel truly blessed to be a part of this program and to be a part of the recovery of each of these women.

Sunday, June 17, 2007

Have You Missed Me?

Well, well, well.....I'm BACK!!!

A lot has happened since my last blog. I finished my "book" portion of medical school (AKA the first two years) and I took my Step 1 COMLEX Board Exam. I got quite a few more rotations scheduled for next year and, best of all, I finally got a little break from studying!!!

In a previous blog, I wrote that I had been accepted to attend the Betty Ford Rehabilitation Center's Summer Institute for Medical Students in Palm Springs, California. Well, I'm here....and it is HOT! My friend, Abby (another DMU student who was accepted for the same week out here) and I couldn't believe that it was THAT hot! But even more than that, we couldn't believe how many people would actually CHOOSE to play golf in this weather!!!

We got in on Saturday, but since the program doesn't start until tomorrow, we decided to rent a car and drive to the coast. Even though MapQuest gave us 18 complex directions to follow, we found our way to Long Beach and had a wonderful time!!! Today we went to Laguna Beach....and after working our way into a gated community, we found both LC's and Kristen's houses. That was probably the highlight of my day. I hate to admit it, but watching 18 year old high school drama on MTV is really quite addicting!!!

Anyways, my program begins in the I will try to update my blog frequently while I am on this trip. Sorry for the leave of absence from this blog for a while....studying for my board exam actually became a priority!

You all have a wonderful evening!!! Until next time.....