Perhaps it is self-serving, but newFNP likes to stress the importance of self-management of chronic diseases. It isn't only because newFNP grows weary of repeatedly sky-high blood glucose levels in clinic, but also because it really is the key to secondary prevention and because, come on, just come the fuck on and help a sister out in controlling your diabetes and high blood pressure.
Sunday, February 03, 2008
A simple easy step in becoming active in the management of one's chronic illness could be learning the names of the frigging medications you are taking on a daily basis. Hell, don't learn them -- just write their names on the back of a McDonald's receipt and put the note in your wallet!
NewFNP suggested this novel idea to a new walk-in, out of control diabetic woman yesterday. She explained that this will help her providers in making medication errors, poly-pharmacy and all. Her reaction?
She started crying.
Seriously? That is what it takes to make you cry, dear lady? NewFNP cannot imagine what her personal life must be like, but she assumes it is not fulfilling.
NewFNP took extra time with this lady as the clinic was exceptionally slow and newFNP's keen powers of intuition told her that this woman was not the picture of togetherness. She thoroughly explained the new meds she was starting, how to take them and what they were for. Frankly, newFNP did a much better job in explaining the meds to her than she does with many other patients. She repeated pertinent info. She wrote extra info on the prescription bottles. She wrote instructions on a separate piece of paper.
And guess what? NewFNP's MA came to the office to tell her that the patient and her cousin wanted more information because newFNP "didn't tell them anything."
NewFNP reeled around in her chair and incredulously asked the patient if she had, in fact, told her nothing. While her 50-something year old patient looked sheepish, her cousin looked utterly entitled and demanded more information.
NewFNP gave them the requested info -- again -- and sent them on their way.
Many patients tell newFNP that their former providers don't tell them anything. NewFNP is sure that this is true on many cases, but a situation such as this really showcases how patients and providers might experience reality differently.
Is it a victim-complex thing? It must be easier to be a victim of one's disease and of an incompassionate health care system than to take what control one is capable of.
Is it a shitty Spanish thing? Did newFNP just waste twenty minutes with this lady, speaking incomprehensible Spanish? While possible in conditions other than diabetes -- say, for instance, Loa loa filariasis -- this explanation is less plausible with DM2 as newFNP finds herself providing education on this topic with alarming frequency.
Maybe it is a life-is-overwhelming thing.
Frankly, though, whatever the reason, it kind of pissed newFNP off.