Truth and FreedomPosted: May 20, 2012
Growing up, I was a horrible tattletale. It was one of the main reasons Jerri didn’t want me hanging around. Jerri was always intrigued by the forbidden. Telling her not to do something was a sure-fire way of ensuring she would. And she was likely to get away with it as long as I wasn’t around. I was reminded of this as I dialed Bryce, her psychiatrist.
I hadn’t intended to tell him anything. My plan was simply to encourage him to connect with her internist, Dr. F. In fact, I hoped he wouldn’t even pick up and I could leave a vague but motivational voicemail. No such luck.
“Hello, this is Bryce.”
“Um, hi Bryce. This is Terri, Jerri’s sister? I had a conversation with Jerri yesterday and she said she’d spoken with you about Dr. F’s request that you contact him? Jerri said you didn’t want to call Dr. F. and I guess I wanted to see if that is accurate. I was with Jerri when Dr. F. asked her to have you call and I really think you should coordinate care with him. I, um, think that Jerri has, um, perhaps not been completely honest with you and I, um, think its very difficult to help her if you don’t have the complete truth. She said that you were going to um, put it in writing that you don’t have an issue with her getting Adderall–”
“I don’t think she needs Adderall that’s why I don’t write it,” Bryce interrupted. Thank, God! I was starting to flounder. “Jerri believes she needs it. I think she truly believes she has ADHD but I don’t see any evidence of that. She believes she can’t function properly without it. I disagree. If Dr. F, thinks differently . . .”
“Dr. F. told Jerri from the beginning, as long as she would submit to and pass a drug test at each visit, he would write the prescription. Last week, he said he would no longer write Adderall for her and that he wanted to talk to you to, uh, coordinate care.” Come on, Bryce. Don’t make me spell it out for you.
“Interesting. I didn’t know about the drug tests.”
“Yes, well, that’s why I think it’s important for you and Dr. F. to talk. Look, this is really awkward for me. I was at the appointment. I know Jerri isn’t telling you everything. But there’s something you need to know if you’re going to help her. I feel like by telling you, I’m disrespecting Jerri’s right to privacy.”
“You’re only calling because you care about her and want to help her.”
Yes, and how can anyone help Jerri when she doesn’t tell the whole truth? Not only does she lie to others, but she lies to herself. She doesn’t admit Adderall has any euphoric effect on her, although it’s clear to even the most casual observer that she’s operating under the influence when the drug is in her system. She says it doesn’t make her high that it just helps her concentrate and focus. She says people tell her she’s not herself when she takes it but that’s only because when the Adderall is in her system, she stands up for herself-that’s why she’s different. She doesn’t admit her ongoing attraction to cocaine. She says, “It was just one time. I’d felt so bad for so long, I thought it would make me feel better. I won’t do it again.”
Jesus once said, “You shall know the truth and the truth shall set you free.” What I also believe is, “You shall tell the truth and the truth shall set you free.” Jerri will never be free until she is honest with herself and those trying to help her.
On the other hand (and this is what I do to make myself crazy, turn every issue over and over again to look at it from all sides) when you tell the truth, there are consequences you’d likely avoid if you hadn’t. How will Telecare respond to confirmation of drug use? Will they tell Housing for New Hope? Will Housing for New Hope evict her? This is what Jerri is afraid of. Honestly, that worries me too. But more than that, I’m worried Telecare will decide they can’t help her and will fire her as a patient. Jerri needs their help, and frankly, so do I. There is only so much support I can provide on my own.
These are all the thoughts that ran through my head as I weighed what to do. And then I spilled. I told Bryce everything. I told him Jerri’s lab results were positive for cocaine. That this was the second time she’d had a positive test in the past year.
I told Bryce the truth as I know it and then I asked him not to tell Jerri we’d spoken. In essence, I told him the truth and then asked him to lie. How whacked is that? Now, I’m trying to figure out if I should just tell Jerri I spoke to Bryce. Thoughts, anyone?