James is only 55 and has a history of alcohol dependence, anxiety, chronic back pain, and depression.
The VBA physician noted that he had elevated liver enzymes and other abnormal labs that are affected by alcohol abuse. He spent a lot of time with him going over each lab and the detrimental effects his drinking was causing.
James became very emotional and the physician felt that the patient would benefit from a follow up with CBHC [Charlotte Behavioral Health Center]. James could not believe that “someone” actually cared about his wellbeing, especially someone who was a volunteer.
The physician discussed in length the advantages of a detox program and James agreed he would look into it. He was scheduled for 2-week follow up with same physician to discuss his progress.
According to James, after he left his visit with the doctor he went home and drank too much, feeling lost and depressed that he would not be able to stop drinking. He actually drank so much that he ended up in the hospital very ill. He was hospitalized for 2 weeks, which allowed him to detox.
After he was discharged from the hospital, he was seen by the same VBA physician for his follow-up. James has remained sober since his discharge and is in an outpatient program. He attributes the “wake up” call he received from our Volunteer VBA physician and his hospital stay to aiding him on the right path.