Thursday, April 27, 2006

Wet to dry

It's not until one washes one's hand three trillion times per day that one truly appreciates the drying effects of water. It's Saharian in its drying capacity. However, one can certainly understand how a patient who is told that she needs a wet dressing in order to dry a seeping wound might raise an 80-year old eyebrow and toddle off to the pharmacy to buy some more minty-cream.

NewFNP was happy to take a look at her patient's wound yesterday. In fact, when newFNP was in her whirlwind med-surg rotation, she was somewhat of a wound guru. Well, folks, those days are long-fucking-gone. As newFNP unwrapped the homemade bandage and caught a whiff of the minty salve, she began to realize the extent to which one year of untreated wound festering can wreak havoc upon delicate ankle skin. What began as a "vein" that she scratched with her shoe turned into a large - let's say 5 inches in diameter - ulcer covered with thickened yellow necrotic tissue.

She has been using all matters of salves and creams for the past year, all leaving her unfulfilled and with a growing lesion. The scent of the cream she was rocking in clinic yesterday was reminiscent of kindergarten paste and she had applied it just as thickly as would a 5-year old. She told me, with utter contempt, that one doctor told her that she should just cover it with water and that it would heal. The tone in which she conveyed this story implied, "As if."

When newFNP prescribed the exact same treatment, she wrote the kindly old lady a prescription for sterile water and told her that she needed to use this "special water" to heal her wound over the course of the next year.

Special fairy water - that's what newFNP will say next time.


Mandy said...

You can call it magic juice.

You have quite a knack at describing it so realistically. Yuchhhhh!

Patients are amazing, aren't they? When I was working as a dental assistant, a 15 year old boy took off his own braces!! Popped them right on off by himself, one week before they were supposed to come off, and before he had a retainer to keep them in place.

stillpracticingnursing said...

Halle-fucking-luiah! I have had my NP lic. since 1/2006, and can I say I love you? OK I don't know you but after another day of feeling like heading back to the floors, I am happy to know that I am not alone. TXS When not so fried,will write something more intelligent about our profession!