Tuesday, July 13, 2010

NewFNP, that's who.

NewFNP has long been fascinated by two behaviors she often notes as regular occurrences in her clinic.

The first is that patients feel absolutely empowered to walk into the patient care area and ask the medical providers any number of questions while the provider is in between patients. These are patients who may have just happened to drop by, or who received a letter stating their labs were abnormal or who wanted to show a provider a rash or insect bite or what have you.

NewFNP finds this frustrating and fascinating. She would be hard pressed to stop her doctor in the hallway to ask her a question or show her a derm lesion. For being disempowered in many ways, it is remarkable - albeit somewhat misguided - that her patients have found a voice in this way.

The second behavior is fighting and swearing and name calling in clinic.

It was full-on baby daddy drama in clinic today as prenatal patient A and prenatal patient B realized in the reasonably tranquil waiting area that they were both carrying fetuses fathered by the same man. Although it did not come to fisticuffs, clinic security was on heightened alert.
As newFNP's medical assistant was vitaling prenatal patient B, newFNP heard the word "bitch" resonate down the hall four times. At this point, newFNP said, "Uh-uh. Not on my watch." She entered the vital sign area, closed the door and told the patient that while she understood that she was frustrated, that language was not tolerable in clinic.

To which prenatal patient B replied, "Who the fuck are you?!!?"


Fortunately, the remainder of the appointment went much more smoothly and newFNP noted that, in addition to sharing a baby daddy, newFNP's prenatal patients shared the exact same tattoo in front of their right ears on their cheek.

The remaining lot of tattoos - neck, chest and hands included - were all different.

Friday, July 02, 2010

The Freshmaker

To many of newFNP's patients, the human body is a big mystery. Perhaps because her patients have had limited access to medical care, they have fashioned DIY treatments for various ailments. Rubbing alcohol, of course, is the big savior, dematologically speaking. It's got a "cure for what ails ya" mystique amongst newFNP's patients. Tincture of violet is another go-to topical.

But mere derm problems are not the only health concerns for which patients fashion their own treatments.

Throw menopause into the body mystery equation and it's like one big clusterfuck of a mystery to many of newFNP's patients. The uncomfortably itchy atrophic vag, the non-existent sex drive, the beard, the emotional upheaval. Honestly, newFNP isn't looking so forward to it. But she will have options when she gets there. Maybe she'll hook up with Suzanne Somers a la Samantha from SATC, maybe she'll do acupuncture -- who knows!

But what she most certainly will not do it dutifully apply Vicks Vapo-Rub to her atrophic downstairs in other to refresh herself, which is precisely what her patient told her she was doing. Granted, new FNP is nowhere near her menopause (knock wood), but there are a few places in which newFNP would not apply Vicks no matter what and her Lady Gaga is one of them. Talk about a bad romance!