I told a nurse about this blog. That may have been a dumb thing to do. I'm not sure she's going to remember the address or anything like that, so I probably have nothing to worry about. And even if she read it, what's she really going to do? I don't know, it's tough sometimes to worry about keeping it going when I don't know who I'm writing for. Do me a favor, if you read the blog and like it, send it to a couple of friends or link it or something. Just want to get a sense if anyone's out there who this is resonating with.
I have a 90-year-old patient who used to be a doctor, except he hasn't been a doctor in 35 years so he thinks he knows what we ought to be doing but doesn't actually know. I told him we're giving him a certain drug and he starts yelling that he wants a different one-- but the one he said he wants hasn't been on the market since 1982. So he's not getting that one. I tried to explain that this is a better class of drugs, fewer side effects, matches his problem, it's the standard treatment-- but he thinks he knows better. He named the type of catheter he wanted, I had to Google it-- it exists, and he's probably right that it would be fine for him-- except we don't have it, and we're not going to get it just because he wants it. He's rightly frustrated that we don't seem to be listening to his expertise as a doctor-- but we're the ones responsible for his care, and when he starts telling us things that would have made sense in 1953 but not now, I don't think we should be expected to change what we're doing.
He also seems to think that the doctors have some control over the patient food, which I don't even think was true in 1953. He's on a low-salt diet, which is predictably tasteless, and I can't do anything about that no matter how much he complains. I can't get him white meat instead of dark meat, I can't have them cook the vegetables more, and I can't get him a different dessert. It's not a restaurant, it's a hospital. And even though I feel bad that he's 90 and has no family, I still don't get to make special requests in the hospital kitchen.
But I did sneak him a doughnut.
Why they serve doughnuts to doctors twice a week-- instead of, oh, I don't know, something that isn't nutritionally bankrupt and fried in fat-- I don't know. Nutrition ranks just above, I don't know, dental health on a list of things the medical profession ought to care more about but chooses to ignore. I've gotten into the habit of noticing doctors who neglect their dental hygiene. You'd think doctors would take care of themselves but somehow dentists are seen as beneath us, I guess. I told someone I had a dental appointment for my day off and she told me she hasn't seen a dentist in seven years. Sexy.