Search Chasing Jessie

Thursday, July 25, 2013

Halitosis, Grouchiness, and Orgasms

Week 15 - Psychology, Oncology, Cardiology

This is week 2 of a very wide mix of patients: oncology, cardiology, and psychiatry.  I have a personal interest in psychiatry patients, and needless to say, those conversations were *always* very interesting.  Because I do not like to poke fun at others when the handicap is not within their realm of control, I will reserve most of those interactions.  One, however, was embarrassing enough to share… (See “Friday’s patients”).  Here is a brief chronicling of my second week:

Monday's patients were mostly uneventful, but that did not last long this week...

Tuesday’s patients were generally well and good, but the last patient of the day had some of the worst breath I have ever smelled.  He recently had a severe stroke, yielding impaired speech, so I had to look and listen close.  I almost gagged as I leaned in closely.

Wednesday's patients took Tuesday's breath to an entirely different level.  

Friday, July 19, 2013

Swapping weighty stories & Ted Talks

Week 15 - Psychology, Oncology, Cardiology

Weight management education and counseling is a required, regular aspect of a Registered Dietitian’s arsenal, particularly in America’s overweight/obesity cauldron.  As I counseled one patient this week on weight loss he listened patiently, but had a pressing question on his mind.  His question did involve food, lifestyle, or habits, but was more personal in nature: 
Patient:     “Have you ever been fat?”
Me:            Taken off guard, I unremarkably replied, “Huh?”
Patient:     “Have you ever been fat in your life?”
I learned that this man, severely obese, was not interested in taking any advice or guidance from someone that had always been thin, never struggled with larger weight problems (literally, not figuratively), or has never felt the social stigma of largess.  After sympathizing with him, and empathizing with him, we had a some frank discussions about his weight (and mine), choices, and future options.  He was receptive towards me, and recounted stories of previous weight coaches and dietitians that left him more cynical than engaged.  Personally, I have not been "thin" during any part of my life, but characteristically normal weight to slightly overweight.  We exchanged ideas for over 30 minutes, a very long time by inpatient standards, and when I departed, I could feel his sense of empowerment and renewed vigor.  If felt really, really good.  He asked if he could make an appointment to meet with me on an outpatient basis after his hospital stay.  That is what I call a professional compliment!
It is times like these that I realize how much impact each of us can make on a daily basis.  We don't have to be in healthcare to make a difference in someone else's life.

Saturday, July 13, 2013

Holidays away from home

Yeah, Yeah, I know, this post about Thanksgiving and Christmas is a little late...  OK, fine, A LOT late.  I don't mind, though... do you?

Discovering American Buffalo at Shelby Farms  in Memphis
(largest metro public park in America)
For this government internship, I luxuriously receive all government holidays off; however all of my vacation days have been pre-planned.  The Friday after Thanksgiving was allocated for one vacation day, as well as a few days around Christmas.  Unfortunately, on a small stipend and these limited days, my travel home to Florida was limited.  Specifically, it did not happen. :(  I wondered if I would bake a chicken breast in my apartment by myself on Thanksgiving and Christmas, but alas I was embraced by so many loving people that that idea was far from reality.  So many, in fact, that I had THREE Thanksgiving dinners and one Christmas dinner!  I know what you are thinking, it is tough to make room for one gluttonous dinner, let alone three!  I managed it with Thursday Thanksgiving breakfast, Thursday late afternoon dinner, and Friday late afternoon dinner!