Wellness all that fru fru stuff

As a nurse, I often get “those calls”…come on, if you know a nurse, you know you’ve done it at one time or another…had an ailment, weird rash, or nagging symptom of what could be a major malady ready to relegate you to the couch with a box of Kleenex.  Those calls are the ones in which I am asked to correctly diagnose, over the phone, without any kind of assessment, someone’s illness, rash, or injury.  I’m game.  I’ll play along.  I’m  not a doctor, but I play one on te phone.  So I get told about the entire illness, rash, or injury and am placed in the role of the tele-diagnosier.  I offer the usual disclaimer about only being a nurse and they should see their doctor then guess what I think is wrong and suggest ways to effectively deal with the illness, rash, or injury.  My “patient” on the other end of the line usually argues with me, skeptical that I might actually know what I am talking about.  It is not them, I think, who has seen more butts, wounds, and weiners in one shift than they’ve seen in a week.  However, as always, my telephonic patient exclaims that their friend, mother, brother, or mailman has suggested another remedy for the suspected malady and they think they will try the non-healthcare personnel’s ideas before mine.  And, as always, about a week later I get a call that the suggested remedy was a complete failure and the “patient” went to see their doctor (remember, I encouraged a medical visit a week ago)….and their doctor told them their illness, rash, or injury was exactly what I had alluded to just one week before.  They needlessly suffered for an extra week because what their mother’s best friend’s sister who does nails for a living was so much more likely than what I, the registered nurse, BSN, had stated.  In the end, the telephonic patient listened to the offerings of the MD because in a white coat, he is so much more believable than me…

It doesn’t make me mad or frustrated but rather makes me laugh every time I hang up the phone because I can easily appear psychic as I know the rest of the story before it happens.

So here’s your tip for the day:  if you have a nurse as a friend and decide not to see your doctor but call your favorite RN who then tells you to see your doctor because you need to be treated for whatever the ailment is…save yourself a week and call your doctor.

In the meantime, have an honest discussion with yourself about whatever health issue you may have.  Pick one small thing you can do to help your body be healthier…park a little further from the building, test your blood sugar, don’t put salt on your meal, or just….do something. Your family and friends want you to be around a while longer.  Be good to you because you are important.   Merry Christmas!

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