Beginning a few months ago, newFNP noticed a disheartening trend. Many more of her patients - young, generally healthy patients - were coming with in complaints of things like dizziness, tingling in the arms and fingers, headache and diffuse muscle pain or, as a colleague likes to call it - total body dolor. NewFNP recognizes these symptoms as depressed mood. As newFNP is not a fan of the don't ask, don't tell policy in regards to a few things, including the medical history, she attempts to suss out the true cause of these symptoms. Her patients appear relieved that someone is actually asking them about the quality of their lives. Generally, they had experienced months of financial stress including food insecurity, home loss or inability to pay rent and zero prospects for imminent improvement.
Sunday, February 01, 2009
When newFNP asks the questions about life stress, the question is often answered in a deluge of tears, seemingly pent up for all these months - perhaps trying to keep a strong face in front of the kids or family but unburdened in the small exam room.
Do these people need medical care, per se? No. What they need are jobs. It makes newFNP wonder about how bad things really were in the countries from where her patients came. They must have been awful to risk moving illegally to the US, to move to impoverished areas where their children often flounder - for a variety of reasons - in school or are introduced to gangs and to where supply greatly exceeds demand for unskilled laborers.
NewFNP did not go into healthcare to make the big bucks. But the truth is, she's OK financially. The only change in newFNP's life is that her clinical hours are busier than ever before and her 401k balance is dismal. What a relief that newFNP has decades of work ahead of her to recoup those losses! Decades of work. Fuck.
Anyway, newFNP supposes the real question is: what has this multi-multi-multi-billion dollar bailout done for the average middle-class person, the working class, the poor? NewFNP knows that AIG executives are doing fine, but her patients aren't and neither are many families across the country. We need a TARP for real people, a new New Deal. How about more student loan debt relief for teachers, nurses, physicians? How about actually giving money to taxpayers to pay they mortgages and student loans to the banks, who will then not have to ask for a bailout? How about putting a TARP over impoverished communities to bring better options for disenfranchised youth? To parents who want to work?
And now the Republicans don't want to pass the current stimulus package because there is, among other things, money for contraception?? What the fuck? People who can control their fertility tend to be more productive. People who work in clinics where contraception is a part of care earn money and pay taxes and mortgages and credit card bills.
NewFNP swears to God, enough is enough.