Un-rose tinted glasses or more bonkers!?!

Posted on June 24, 2013. Filed under: Journal from behind the desk... |


Thought it was about time I checked in to make sure you were all behaving out there! I’ve been neglecting you, but it’s a fickle world and you’ve not really missed me, but I do pine for the opportunity to have a chunter!

Usually between patients, my room falls silent apart from the tick tick ticking of my wall clock…I like it, I am immune to its annoyance, as when the room is quiet I am usually concentrating on other things, but I know it winds my patients up.  They pipe up; “Blimey your clocks loud!”, to which I grunt and carrying on looking at their detailed consultant letter or intriguing blood test results.  It’s not the fact that it is loud that annoys them, it’s the whole Hitchcock-esq suspense the ticking causes while their imagination stirs up the premonition of me turning to them after I’ve finished studying the screen and saying something terrible like….”The consultant’s letter says you’ve only got two weeks to live, and I received it a fortnight ago”.

Tick tock…the cogs are turning!

Sorry distracted again…The room is silent normally apart from the ticking clock…oh and the faint whirring of my brain (actually that’s the air conditioning – I have to keep the room cold to stop the patients wanting to stay for more than their allocated 10 minutes!!), but today I had the pleasant company of a student nurse… a treat. Usually I have medical students, who mostly feel short-changed by having to sit in with the NURSE practitioner, but still can’t answer the simplest questions and I find myself saying; “No generally with refer to that as an arm, but better luck next time!”

Anyhooooo, where am I going? (You can tell I’ve been quiet for a while I’m all excited and babbling).  This student nurse sat in with me a few weeks ago, and came away thinking I was basically spending my day working as Jeremy Kyle’s untelevised double.

Although I don’t tend to stare at the patients cleavage!

SO I promised her that we’d have a more sensible, UTI, sore throats and colds kind of day. HA! It occurred to me between her last visit and today that I never have a “more sensible” kind of day. I go through a man-sized box of tissues a fortnight (don’t be rude) on sobbing patients.  Today after the last patient wept and left, the student turned to me and asked a good question (damn those students!)

“Are there more people depressed than there used to be?”

OK I fear I may really babble here, but I will get to the un-rose tinted glasses bit, in fact that’s a good place to start.

As I work in primary care I see people who are ill, either physically or mentally, and after a while the more depressed people you see, the more depressed people you know exist, but I’d be judging my view on the small percentage of people who come in my room sniff and sob on my man size tissues and leave again (hopefully with a little bit of a plan and some hope), for every 1 tissue thief, presumably there is a larger proportion of people who will never dampen my hankies. So I get a misleading perception that loads of people are depressed (i.e. I look through un-rose tinted glasses).  So I reassure my student, but then find myself making a little speech about how people are more ready to come and “confess” to being depressed rather than struggling and feeling helpless whilst trying to keep a stiff upper lip (as oppose to a quivering bottom lip) and how depression has perhaps become a little more socially acceptable.

So I am happy that I see quite a few depressed people, rather than them struggling at home unsupported, and yet I can feel content that the whole world isn’t feeling depressed, because of;

socio-economic decline;

too many crappy chat shows on TV;

the fact the nobody realises diet coke is still fattening despite the fact that loads of fat people drink it and you only see skinny people drinking it in adverts;

too many hormones in the drinking water;

the fact that only idiots get to drive posh sports cars;

we have droughts in the winter and floods in the summer;

the better you are at your job the more work you get;

when you get older that harmless flirting you used to do when you were good looking now looks suspicious;

nobody ever cared enough to actually put a stitch in Eeyores tale…. no wonder he was blue!

Oh woe!

With all that to consider perhaps there are more depressed people….well if that’s the case tomorrow when a patient comes in sobbing, and tells me that she is failing at being a mum and everyone else can cope better than she can, with an element of confidence I can reassuringly tell her…”No you’re not, you’re all as mad as each other!” and I can go home feeling I’ve earned my wages.

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