I've been feeling kinda sorry for myself lately, about some things that have happened and I haven't posted about it. But every now and then this job can reach out and slap you hard.
There are many kinds of patients. Some are truly wonderful people and you love to see them on the day's schedule. Many are a blank - you see them rarely and they seem pleasant enough. Others are, to be honest, a pain in the ass. Some are mean, some are noncompliant, some are argumentative, some are a lovely mix of all of that.
Being on call, I get to round on all hospital patients. My partner warned me about hers. Wildly noncompliant, and a medical train wreck. Great. Just what I wanted to start off my weekend. I get to the floor and swoop through the healthy multips who all delivered the night before and are doing great with no questions. I save problem child for last. I look through the computer and see her labs. I'm getting ready to go in and have the "Talk with Jesus" talk, as one of my attendings in residency would put it. AKA "Grow the fuck up and take some responsibility for yourself".
I get to problem child's room and she's improved. I start in on my "You got to take better care of yourself" speech when I notice that she's crying. 30 minutes later, after a long talk and a lot of hugs, I leave her room. I can't fix her problem...her social situation is a disaster at best. I'm recounting this to her nurse - I can treat her medically, but I can't help the web of bad choices and poor support that surrounds her.
I'm so lucky in that respect. Even though statistically, I should have been her, I'm not. The difference is even though we started out dirt-poor when my dad left, my mom made good choices. She went back to school with 2 toddlers in tow. Her mother babysat us frequently so that my mom could do that. Welfare (called ADC back in the day) was short-term (government cheese tastes like shit, let me tell you). My mother emphasized to her daughters that we needed to be able to care for ourselves - education was valued. I didn't have a baby as a teen (Mom would have killed me!). Many of my high school classmates did. I had family support to get through school. I married a nice guy who respects me and likes me.
Lots of little things. But each choice individually may not matter. But the net sum does.