Dodging Responsibility

The tricks we pull when we think no one is looking

by Corey Saucier

0
877

My best friend says that I am exhibiting “drug seeking behavior.” This is something that people who don’t use drugs say to people who do use drugs when the people who do use drugs, are doing things that the people who don’t use drugs, don’t do… like asking their doctors for Adderall.

I plan on asking my doctor for Adderall. In fact, I have already asked my doctor for Adderall. He is a new doctor, so he doesn’t really know me from Adam—but I look great in pink; my teeth are bright and smiling; and I make a really spectacular first impression. Before I was a writer I was an actor, so I can really work a room. So this newest of the six new HIV doctors I’ve had in the last two of years, has already given me a referral. I have an appointment for this coming Wednesday to see if I qualify for a psych diagnosis of Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD). It turns out that Adderall is pretty much the same exact thing as crystal-meth—except for the syringes, and bath houses, and the smuggling of illegal contraband in your Uber when you are too paranoid to walk down the street like a normal person…. But for the sake of legalities I’m going to say I have no idea what any of that that feels like, because I do NOT have a drug problem; I suffer from Attention Deficit Hyperactivivity Disorder. Or at least I will by Wednesday. Fingers crossed!

My best friend is a very attractive lesbian who looks like a young and sexy Ralph Macchio à la Karate Kid 1980s… She is an executive at the height of her field, has been married for the last ten years, and for the last two decades has seen me in many stages of identity. If anyone can ever truly know anyone is a philosophical question that can be argued from now until fifty years from now, but one thing she knows for sure, is that I do not lie. I really do think that I may have Attention Deficit Disorder, I really do think that I have been self-medicating all these years…and I really do want another option other than street drugs, dark rooms, and the fear of arrest and overdose. I am an artist and my best creative works have all been birthed and completed while under the influence of some synthetic mind-altering chemical. I do not think that is accidental. But I am smarter than my own good, and I might be fooling myself.

She listens to me plead my case like a tweaker in an alleyway, then she smirks, sucks at her teeth, and says: “I know you may think that, but this sounds like drug-seeking behavior to me.” And I know that she has no idea what drug-seeking behavior looks like, because that’s just something that people who don’t use drugs say to people who do use drugs, when the people who do use drugs are doing things that people who don’t use drugs, don’t do. But she knows me well enough to know that this is some weird Hail Mary—in order to keep myself from going down a deeper, darker, drug-addled road…and she loves me enough to tell me so…. And she is right. I don’t want to go out that way. I’m too old, too cute, and have survived AIDS for too long to throw it all away because I can’t stop sticking needles in my arm. I will not let that be my story. So I’m trying everything I can to calm the sleeping beast.

My doctor missed the signs. Poor new guy! How could he compete with my sparkling blue-grey eyes, and my devastating intellect, and my cheeky disarming personality? But it’s right there in my medical records…at least it should be. The system should be able to catch those who may be falling between the cracks…. And if my healthcare system was not revolving doctors like little yellow shooters in an expensive game of marbles, they might have caught it. They may have known me well enough to see through my charms and ask me more appropriate questions: “It looks like you sometimes have intermittent drug use? Are you having cravings? Does it ever interfere with your HAART Adherence? It looks like you had therapy seven years ago that kept you off drug use for ten years; do you think that would be of benefit?” But right now there is one provider for hundreds of clients. And he’s yet to learn the software, let alone build a relationship with me.

It is my responsibility to make my appointments, take my medications, and be forthcoming with behavior, but it is their responsibility to be a witness. To employ doctors who will stay longer than a pay quarter. Otherwise major things get overlooked, and patients are left to their own devices. My Foundation for AIDS Healthcare is failing me. A doctor should be like a very good friend. I think I need to file a report…. But first, I have this referral to see a specialist, to see if they will give me Adderall for my soon to be diagnosed ADHD. First things first.

Wish me luck!


 

Corey Saucier is an artist and writer living in Los Angeles. He is a Lambda Literary Fellow in Fiction and Non-Fiction and is currently penning his first novel. His musings and wanderings on Love, Life, and Nonsense can be found at www.justwords.tumblr.com.