Thursday, February 18, 2010

i am a 'model patient'?

One of the nurses said this to another practioner in my appointment today. She liked the steady stream of 5.7 mmol/L blood sugars on my printed reports. I didn't think much of it until I walked down the hall of medical offices and passed a room where an older woman was sitting alone with her head in her hands. 'You look how I feel when my blood sugars are high,' I thought- tired, frustrated. I could be wrong, but her body language read that she did not get the same smile, nod and 'model patient' badge that I got. So, then, I wondered what monicker she got to bear: A difficult patient? A non-compliant patient? A bad patient? Honestly, I like the positive feedback, but at the same time I kind of feel badly about my little 'model patient' label. Though it seems nice on the surface, the alternatives that it offers are really rather nasty ways of perceiving people. And, while, perhaps practitioners don't come out and say these alternatives to service-users, I've worked in settings where I've seen the attitudes of those alternatives pervail in conversations despite being unnamed. And, I know from being the patient, instead of just being tired and frustrated, you get to add 'judged' to the list.

Somewhat ironically I left the building and wandered into a near Darwin Award moment when I found myself in the middle of a seemingly endless row of suburban houses, diving into a massive low with enough insulin on board for an entire meal and only a yogurt drink in hand...

Win some, lose some I guess.


Post a Comment