Tuesday, March 4, 2014

On First World Problems

I could write several [thousand] blog posts' worth of first world problems that I come across, in both my life and the insanely ridiculous patient interactions I've been privileged/burdened/cursed (depending on the day) with.  Today's involves my cell phone.

Does anyone remember their very first cell phone?  I sure do.  It was a 2x6 inch Philips hand me down when we lived in Singapore.  My friends called it "The Paddle."  In all fairness they were sort of right.  In more fairness, they were assholes, as all high schoolers are wont to be.  It couldn't hold a charge for more than 6 hours, but it was MINE and I was MOBILE, goddammit!

Fast forward to my next phone, which was that amazing Nokia that everyone seemed to have at the turn of the century.  Many games of Snake ensued and lots of bad grades in college.

I am always amazed at the Next Big Thing in cellular technology.  It fascinates me in how it shapes society, public relations, how people interact with each other over dinner (spoiler alert: they don't), how we absorb information.  I have loved every new phone I got with the same enthusiasm as the snowman Olaf from Frozen has about summer.  Everything seems shiny, impossibly fast and futuristic.

My latest is a treasure--a phone I waited months for despite being eligible for an upgrade.  I wanted it and when I got my HTC one it was shiny, blue and everything I had ever hoped for and dreamed of.  Short of doing household chores, it seemed to do everything else.

...until it got stolen.

I can't understand theft at an institution of higher learning, let alone an Ivy League.  But during a bathroom break, some punkass kid stole my phone (bypassing the work iPhone, something that still has me scratching my head) and probably made a sweet amount of cash on eBay for it.   I was angry, resigned, sad, defeated, lots of things and wanted to nail the kid to the wall.  By his balls (see: anger issues, last post).

I budgeted enough to get a new one.  My enthusiasm for technology was renewed, my hope for mankind somehow buffed to a brighter sheen and all was well for about a month.  And then my new phone crashed today.  I threw a minor tantrum, managed to see all of my patients without killing anybody, and then headed to Verizon, who offered to replace it with a "Like-New Certified" phone, which is basically "phones that people change their mind about within a few days and exchange for something else."  I pouted and tried to give the sales guy a hard time about refurbished phones.

Pause for a second.  Not only do I have a cell phone with a great albeit rigid company, I upgraded my previous smart phone, LOST the new one I got, had the money to REPLACE it, and am sulking about the FREE REPLACEMENT my cell phone company is offering not being brand new.  Also I'm totally dreading re-installing ALL my apps.  And all this time I have a totally slow but completely functional BACKUP SMART PHONE that I can still contact my loved ones with.

Sometimes it's nice when you can give yourself some perspective, even if it makes you feel like an entitled, elitist asshole.  Me and my first world problems will quietly bow out and show a little gratitude about my lot in life, which is actually immensely full of privilege and plenty. I will be happy about my new-to-me phone and be thankful that I live in a world where this is the norm.


Monday, February 17, 2014

On Not Letting the Sun Set on My Anger

Something that I've been dealing with a lot in the last few years is rage.  I have never considered myself a rage-full person and certainly people who knew me from my docile college years spent penned up in church would have a hard time believing it.  It comes in bursts.  Sometimes it actually makes it to the surface.  Usually it's my family that sees it the most.  Sometimes it's a mild flare, and sometimes it is white, white hot and I can't sit still because I want to be physically violent with... something.  

Where does it all come from?  In therapy tonight we identified that it is a conglomeration of small, tiny, injuries to myself.  Something that feels disrespectful, something that makes me feel helpless or powerless.  A slight to me or something I believe in strongly.  It all adds up into a big, poker hot ball of rage.

I hadn't realized that my coping mechanism for this in life is to deflect my anger.   My stifling Asian Christian upbringing has taught me to squelch the feelings of anger, tell myself something that will make me okay with it for the time being.  What I didn't realize is that in not acknowledging the angry, in stuffing my feelings deep down, I set myself up inevitably for an explosion.  Sometimes alcohol helps to coax it out.  Sometimes it's that one last straw that makes me lash out.

It's hard to sit with being angry.  C#arlie, in a rare show of his preacher background, quoted Ephesians 4:26 (26“In your anger do not sin”d : Do not let the sun go down while you are still angry) (hell yes I googled that) and I had to really think what that meant, since for my whole life I have basically parroted that verse as an admonishment to tell people not to be mad in a my-hindsight-is-cringing super-preachy way.  But he pointed out that most noteworthy is that Bible doesn't tell me not to be angry.  It just tells me not to go to sleep without dealing with it (been there--really bad dreams, don't do it).  It was an interesting application of a time and again read Bible passage that I've glossed over with a "Yeah yeah yeah, don't be mad, I get it." 

I do not know how to deal with anger.  I suspect that it could potentially involve pushing back.  I guess it'll involve being comfortable with it.  I know for sure it'll involve a helluva lot of practice. 

Thursday, February 6, 2014

On Being There

Tonight I had dinner with some girlfriends, of varying closeness.  It was interesting to see that at different times in my life I had been extremely close to one or the other.  I think I took for granted at the time that our friendships and closeness would last forever, but of course not very many do.  It felt bittersweet--fun to relive the past but bitter to realize that most of the conversation and interactions tonight were surfacey. Nothing serious, no real, deep, genuine soul-baring conversations.  Tonight's dinner was the kind of outing that left me feeling empty.  I'm sorry to say those happen far more than I'd like... but happy to notice that they are decreasing in number, on purpose, I think.

Right before dinner (which was right next to my old work office and still gives me PTSD every time I walk past) I stopped in to visit my favorite ex-coworker, Wallace.  I have often puzzled over how I instinctively know this to be true.  I see a lot of my old coworkers on a regular basis and I am always happy to drink with them, eat with them, share life with them, but no one inspires the same adoration in my heart more than Wallace.

Tonight I think I figured out.  In those two godawful years working at that job, everyone was a taker. Even the ones I hang out with all the time.  They liked sitting in my office, chatting it up, sucking up the little good will and positive energy I had and would ALWAYS use me as a bitchbag sound board.  I get it.  I wasn't busy. I had time.  I was nice.  I listened.  I went to lunch with them when no one else could/would. They would come in, dump, complain, and take, take, take.

But not Wallace.  When I was down he wouldn't talk about it directly but instead say something funny to take the edge off, something to help me see it in a different light.  He'd breeze into my office with these interesting tidbits he found on yahoo and share these stories he found fascinating, not really knowing if I cared at all.  Once I went to Jamaica and mentioned to him that I was going swimming with dolphins and he immediately found a youtube video of an aroused dolphin trying to rape a human woman, and had a urine drug test specially ordered and waiting for me when I got back.  The day I got back, he pantomined me smoking a lot of weed.  Not really sure why this was hilarious or particularly heart warming to me, but it has stuck with me after all this time.  Wallace was able to diagnose my relationship with a now-ex-boyfriend without knowing our history or that we were even dating as doomed from a 2 minute conversation.  He has a keen eye without being invasive or nosy or solicitous.

And when I hit rock bottom, he would say something bracing--just a phrase that would lift me out of my profound funk.  He wouldn't address my tears or pity me.  He would give me a tool to help me get past the obstacle and then breeze right back out my office.  Wallace is not a taker.  He isn't really a clear giver either, although he was probably the only person in the office who offered any guidance when bossman was out of the office (so...always).  He is Wallace.  And in merely being himself, being there, he brought such great joy to my life, enough to help me make it 2 years in that hellhole.

Which brings me to tonight.  The hour I spent sitting in his office laughing, chatting, sharing and just marveling at this thing called living life was far more soul-enriching than the 3 hours I spent laughing with these girlfriends (I suppose not all laughter is considered equal in this sense).  I think the difference is that they were not there during the most dark, fiery formative parts of myself (personally and professionally) and Wallace was not only there but gave of himself in a way that was both separate and involved with my formation.  And I'm learning to be grateful for these people, pillars of self-awareness and compassion who choose to be there for me, with me, unobtrusive yet solidly there.

That's how tonight was not a wash, but a complete blessing.  Not for the three hours of margaritas and Mexican food, but for the one hour in the very warm cramped space that is Wallace's 10th floor office.

... and maybe the pineapple infused tequlia shots.  Those were pretty tasty.

Friday, January 3, 2014

On Pushing Back

My 3-year-old niece was given a meyer lemon tree in her first week of life (outside the womb, that is).  The idea was that it would grow and be fruitful as she grew and became fruitful in her endeavors in life.  It only recently started bearing fruit in earnest. I witnessed a very full basket of meyer lemons, usually at least $3 a pop in NYC, when I was most recently home.  So rich!

This is how I feel about my journey with therapy.  It's come a long way from the sobbing, I-have-daddy-issues confessional-type sessions to something fruitful that prompts genuine introspection (rather than merely an introspective face, which was mastered in my days of faking it in college Bible study), the beginnings of capable self-analysis and--most surprisingly--action.

You'd think that this isn't really that remarkable, but I disagree.  It's far easier for me to let an off-handed slight dealt by a family member slide than to stand up for myself.  The path of least resistance is to let an ex act out with some self-pitying outburst--directed at me but fueled by life circumstance--than to call him on it.  I'd be much more comfortable if I just avoided that friend who took her love for the Packers a little too seriously and bruised our friendship. (Over football!  WHY.) People push and don't expect a fight because I've never given them one.  I am much better suited to inaction than action.

For over a year I've been toiling in therapy on this concept of pushing back. A whole life's worth of Chinese-Christian upbringing has taught me that it's NOT okay to push back. Don't argue.  Play nice.  Don't express your real opinions or you'll be rebuked.  Respect your goddamn elders even if they are absolute nut jobs in complete self denial about... themselves.  Get along with everybody, even the borderline personality guy; fake it if you have to. It's hard to fight that.  My desire to avoid conflict is deep-rooted and is directly opposed to the goals of this concept of "pushing back". I don't want to act.

But it's happening.  

It's coming out in bursts, like I don't know yet how to control it or quite how to phrase my words in the moment (versus crafting them in an email--a separate skill set I have yet to master).  I struggle with sifting through my feelings in a matter of minutes rather than days or weeks in order to verbalize adequately enough to get my point across.  But I am addressing that off-handed slight, even if it involves telling my brother to go fuck himself.  I'm making heart-wrenching, deep sobs for months in the middle of the night decisions to FINALLY cut off that ex.  I am firmly but kindly telling that friend that I don't appreciate her love for a football team ruling her decision to deride me as a person (go Niners!).  

And it feels GOOD.  It feels like I am reclaiming myself.  It feels like I'm finally giving all of those hurts and injuries I've accumulated over a lifetime a conduit to voice themselves.  I'm not super great at it.  Sometimes my attempts to protect myself end up hurting other people.  But it's a start.  It's something that needs practice.  Now that I know what it feels like, how self-saving it is, I feel encouraged to keep pushing back.  And the fruit of that labor is tart/sweet, just like a meyer lemon. 

Tuesday, August 27, 2013

Conversations with My Sister

(In response to describing my emotions recently as "labile")
Turdie: I do not know what labile means
Turdie: It sounds.... vaginal.

Tuesday, July 10, 2012

On Shake Shack Adventures

as a half-in-the-closet foodie, i know i'm supposed to have very strong opinions about Shake Shack, a burger joint of Danny Meyers (the magician who brought us Tabla and Union Square Cafe, among other things).  people will throw out passionate discourse about the great shakeshack vs in'n'out debate, vehemently defend it as the elusive "best burger in nyc" and so on and so forth.

recently i went to a wine tasting/dinner class where basically i got to eat a lot of yummy food and get reeeeally drunk for half price and instead of pushing us to like things that are "medium bodied, low acidity and long finished," the most important concept they presented was: "do you like it?"

and that is how i feel about burgers, pizza, hand pulled noodles, soup dumplings, baller dinner joints, steak houses, etc.  do i like it?  i'm going there again.  does it make your ranked list? i don't give a shit.

that said, i LOVE shake shack.  the smell that hits you is mouth watering, and at least in the beginning when there was just the one in madison square park, i thought the wait was worth it.  (in the last 4+ years i've been here, i've seen several branches open all over the city.  the wait is still a little crazy, but not like 2-hours-to-wait-for-a-burger-you-will-inhale-in-2-minutes crazy.) their frozen concretes--essentially extra thick shakes--are a caloric meal in and of themselves. their fries are dirtily delicious. sometimes when you feel like not meat (which is never) they have a deep fried cheese stuffed mushroom burger.  a little something for everyone.

becky, my friend and fellow lover of SS alerted me to the fact that today is one of their branch's 2nd birthdays, and in honor of that birthday, they were offering birthday cake ice cream: vanilla ice cream with yellow and chocolate cake bits and rainbow sprinkles all mixed in.  it sounded awesome.  and so i found myself trekking over and up to the theater district location, where there was a line extending outside the store (let's not think about the snaking line inside the resto).

the guy in the line ahead of me looked a little bewildered and i informed him that it was SS-theater district's birthday.  he responded with, "really?  i guess i better call danny meyer and say congrats."  i thought he was lying/bragging, etc but glimpsed over his shoulder that he did, in fact, have danny meyer's phone number in his cell.  talk about swag.  apparently they used to work together.

down the line comes an employee handing out samples of the very birthday cake ice cream i was there for.  i told her this with great excitement and she reminded me of the blessed "c-line," where you get cold things like soda, water, and ice cream.  i skipped ahead of line and happily lined up behind one person (versus like 50) to order my ice cream.

when i stepped up to the cash register, this woman, who is already at her own cash register, glares at me angrily and shouts, "you know, the line starts back there."  i glanced at her up and down and did a quick racial profile. "whoa," i know you're thinking, "kathleen, racist much?."  allow me to explain.  

my brother muck has an uncanny ability to racially profile people based on the cars they drive.  he's particularly accurate when it comes to asians.  "see that toyota camry? indian." and sure enough, one of our south asian brothers is indeed behind the wheel.  "see that hyundai sonata? definitely korean." and there goes mrs. kim driving erratically down el camino. it's really amazing and provided unmatched entertainment that morning i drove him to get his car tuned up.

i am similarly developing a very specific racial profile sense about white people.  my friend howard says that i should be a comedian and just make cracks about white people.  i don't think this is necessarily true.  i'm just really good at observing some of their ridiculous behavior and making an educated guess about what kind of white person they might be.  certain clues will lead me to guess with 90% accuracy if the person comes New Jersey (although sometimes i sometimes confuse them with staten island), massachusetts, florida, norcal vs socal vs white trash central california, the midwest (in general, my knowledge of this part of america is notoriously poor and i count the midwest as one "region").  this particularly white lady was well dressed but slightly off in the suburban mom style that has suffered the disappointing blow of not making it in nyc and being forced to drive a minivan in a part of connecticut that wants desperately to be greenwich but absolutely isn't.  it would also explain her lack of knowledge about the "c-line" and her righteous yet sorely misplaced indignation at my presumed cutting, and also her inability to apologize for her mistake even after i calmly corrected her.

i tried very hard to give her the evil eye afterwards, but usually people mistake that for some kind of GI discomfort, so it makes for a pretty ineffective face.

this was all forgotten however, once i got my ice cream.  i skipped through the door, past the girl who originally directed me to the c-line when she stopped me and told me that my ice cream did not have rainbow sprinkles.  she then dragged me back to the front of the line and insisted to the cashier that the ice cream lady get me some goddamn rainbow sprinkles. it's not a birthday celebration without them!

was it worth waiting (mistakenly) in line, suffering some foodie swag, getting yelled at by an unfortunate suburban connecticut mom with no grace to apologize, and leave smelling like burger?  yes.  that birthday cake ice cream was fucking delicious.  and it had rainbow sprinkles. happy birthday, shake shack!

Saturday, March 10, 2012

On Jobs and ultimately, Identity

hello blog readers!

it's been quite awhile but I've finally had a spell of time to catch up on sleep and thinking and so here i am, back in the blogosphere. currently i'm in sunny san diego for a conference for the nla--that would be the national lipid association--and the proceedings of this meeting thus far has prompted me to reflect further on something i've been thinking a lot about for the past 7 months or so and that is: what am i?

by this, i mean not my heritage (although it is a long running joke amongst friends close and not-so-close friends as to whether or not i'm filipino chinese or just straight chinese. i think i've finally found the answer, by the way. to borrow a phrase from my hs bff's husband: "i'll be whatever gets me the most stuff." actually i believe he said money, as in scholarships, but you get the point. while money is nice, i will also accept food, special service and treatment, and hugs). i mean my job.

years ago when i endeavored to take on nursing school in new york, i had not realized exactly how much political, professional, and personal strife being a nurse could produce. and the fact that no one knows really what nurse practitioners are, what they do, etc, that strife just multiplies, about 10-fold. people know what nurses are. in fact, i was well informed prior to entering the field. "you're going into nursing? but don't you have to like, clean up shit? literally?" and indeed, there was a lot of shit cleaned. 6 garden south, the floor that taught me basically everything i know, is notorious for prolific poopers. people in hospitals know what nurses do: we give meds. we clean shit. we "page the doctor" (i'm not sure if i'm the only one who does this but sometimes i don't actually page the doctor. especially if its a question where all parties involved--me, the patient, the doctor--know the answer is no.). according to grey's anatomy, sometimes we service the doctor, in a questionable, grey-area kind of way. and this is a very safe niche in which many nurses thrive (not with that last part). that's what makes them so good at their jobs--they have very well defined roles.

it gets a little hairy when you leave that safe little bubble. when i tell people i'm a nurse practitioner, there is inevitably a slight pause, a puzzled glance, a cock of the head and the dreaded question: "what... exactly IS a nurse practitioner?" it's incredible that these people eagerly devour every bit of news in the Times about how their blood thinner medication might cause "anticholinergic effects" (never mind that they don't actually know how these things might manifest themselves) but despite the positive press that NPs have gotten in the last 10 years or so, i still have people (who are purportedly "used to working with NP's") asking me to pass on messages like a goddamn secretary, not really sure what my role is. nine times out of ten i am referred to as "the nurse" or "the PA" and i have no choice to respond, whatever pride i may have swallowed, anger set aside.

i think part of the problem is that i myself am not really sure what i am. columbia university's school of nursing, being among the first ones in the country like it, was highly politically charged, surging forward with creating degrees like the DNP which didn't do much except cause even MORE confusion, and as such, my young health care provider-naive self was inundated with"NPs are better than MD" statements that sounded dangerously like upsetting propaganda. casual one-liners like "stay out of the hospital in july--that's when the new doctors come in" and over-exaggerated stories of brilliant nurses defying doctors to save the life of the patient catapulting the heroic role of the RN above that of the MD just further confused me about what exactly i should be looking forward to at the end of 2.5 years of nursing school, after which i would join the ranks of (assumed) MD-ball-busting NPs the world over. if i can't answer the question myself, how can i possibly hope to educate the discouragingly witless masses who have no clue about what it is i do apart from refilling their xanax prescriptions?

NPs have been called many things by the media, including "mid-level provider," "physician-extender," and oddly, "media darlings" (not sure where that last one came from, but it's so weird that it actually came from the media. is that like a journalist's version of talking in the first person?). of all of these, while "media darling" sits best with me, i think the one that i'm most apt to agree with is "physician extender." and NPs can bristle at this all they like, i don't give two flying fucks. i would never work in isolation from an MD and i would never presume to think that my pitiful training (or lack thereof--) could even begin to equal theirs, and i think it's crucial to work alongside one. does that make me an extender of a physician? in the words of my super wise, soon-to-be-four nephew: my not know. other[negative] words that come to mind that involve the word "physician", that may or may not involve my job are: lackey. slave. bitch. ass-wiper (figuratively this time). more positively: collaborator, helper, right arm, keystone on which his practice stands without which all of his patients would leave him for his lack of availability. see? there are really no good words.

i think the best way i've heard my job described was by a friend who i went to nursing school with and she remains an RN but currently works in a job that, interestingly enough, was previously occupied by an NP, further blurring all boundaries. she says that she differentiates between RNs and NPs like this: "RNs are nurses that you think of in the hospital, and NPs are nurses that are like doctors." when i protested this description (but what will columbia think!), she shrugged her shoulders and said, "the patients aren't going to know anything beyond that."

and it's true. at the end of the day, the masses aren't going to give two shits about whether or not i can diagnose or prescribe or write soap notes or whatever. what they want to know is:" are you going to give me a fucking zpack to kill this cold before it starts?" (the answer is no, now go fuck off.) or "i am in pain/throwing up/shitting myself literally and i'm scared i'm going to die. can you answer whether or not i am?" and usually the answer is yes.

while i may not have a concrete defined answer as to what exactly an NP is, i sure as hell have a very defined list of what an NP isn't. an NP is not:

1) a fucking secretary. i can't tell you how many times i have been requested to call a patient back only to find that they only called to ask if i wouldn't mind passing on a message to the Doctor? actually i do fucking mind. i have a secretary whose job it is to do that and God help me if someone else asks me to let my boss know that she self adjusted her dose of lisinopril to 5. wait, now 10. wait now 7.5. now back to 5 again. shoot me in the face.

2) a telephone advice nurse. my sister uses this all the time when her kids look funny and she's not sure if she should take them to the urgicare center. it's a great service, very helpful especially for people who are looking to not burden an already overburdened health care system. do you know who answers the phone when you call the advice nurse? a NURSE. an RN. NOT A NURSE PRACTITIONER. that's because RNs are already awesome at triage and have no problem saying "yes you should go to urgicare" or "no you're overreacting." people dial the office for some spectacularly stupid shit. and they always demand a call back. because no they don't want to come in for a visit. they just want free fucking health care over the phone. while i don't have a problem with free health care [FOR THE UNINSURED] these people have health insurance. get your lazy asses to the office so i can bill you like a proper provider. have a cold? make an appointment. have a uti? make an appointment. think you broke your ankle? making an appointment. think you have pneumonia? feel "really fatigued" and you don't know why but you have a 1 month old in the house? think you have low testosterone-induced fatigue but you actually have food coma every afternoon? want to discuss all 50 supplements you're taking to make yourself the virile 55 yo male you want to be? MAKE A FUCKING APPOINTMENT.

3) your shrink. once a patient (over the phone) wanted me to call in a new script for zoloft because her home-bound self had so much time to think about absolutely nothing that she decided she was depressed and wanted an antidepressant. i told her that she should really be followed by a mental health professional and her response was, "why do i need to talk to someone? i'm talking to you now, aren't i?" i had no words, except that she needed to make an appointment.

4) faceless prescription generator. do you know how many times i've gotten a request for a prescription, filled it, and then got another request for THE SAME PRESCRIPTION? upon inquiry, explanations i've gotten included: "oh its cheaper for me to do it this way," "oh i'm travelling and forgot my pills (but didn't forget your viagra, did you?)," "oh, i hate that pharmacy, this one gives me what i want," and my favorite: "I JUST CHANGED MY INSURANCE AND I'M REALLY POOR [even though i still own a place in manhattan, rocked up to your office in a mink coat, and drive a bmw that i can afford to keep in the city] AND YOU JUST NEED TO DO THIS FOR ME OKAY!!" and don't even get me started on the ambien prescriptions. i wish that a study would come out about how it causes cancer and then everyone would stop taking that shit like candy. and they're very feral about their refills. on the dot every month i will get a request to fill their ambien/xanax/valium prescription and if i don't, i will get 5 calls harassing me. also these patients can request things online and i get requests that no one in their right mind would "refill" like: malarone (an antimalaria pill), cipro (for potential traveller's diarrhea) and new rxs for antipsychotics with no documented history of ever having been prescribed them. EVER.

5) a patient bitchbag*. this is really a followup of #3, but once i got a request for a call back to discuss "patient's health" but in fact what he really wanted to do was keep me on the phone for THIRTY MINUTES so he could complain about how his specialists didn't "exhibit a clinical curiosity to get to the bottom of my issues." never mind that they fixed him and he no longer had said issues, but what do i know, i'm not an MD. want to complain about something? GET A WIFE. listening to your problems is either her problems or a shrinks, not mine.

6) an MD bitchbag*. this is particularly troublesome, since i'm friends with so many of them and my interest in self-preservation is often pitted against in their well-being. i think this is a two-part problem. i am a nurse. nurses are supposed to be compassionate. i think i sometimes buy into this (even to my own disadvantage) but other people 100% buy into it. the other part of it is that i am in a unique position to understand everything the MD goes through but without the ability to one-up their horrific day with something even worse, a potential danger if they were to attempt to bitchbag a fellow MD. i could not, for example, say "suck it up, cupcake" because my day couldn't possibly be as bad as theirs. as an NP caught in a compassionate RN role, i am stuck sympathetically clucking (despite my jaded attitude here, it's almost always genuine. the sympathy, not the clucking.) (well, also the clucking). the reason why i am convinced that my presumed role is as a bitchbag and not, for example, confidant or consoler is that this well-intentioned sympathy somehow manages to breed more bitching. instead of being mollified by words of comfort, the clucking, etc begets MORE bitching. there are a few MDs that are prone to drive-by bitchbag bomb me; while i sit innocently in my office, they burst in, explode and then flee. funnily enough, this relationship is rarely reciprocal. were i to complain about my day i would get silence, a dumb stare, or ignored. it's a little degrading.

so in conclusion, while i may not know exactly how to define my role or my job or even my identity, when i think about the emotional and mental drain of constantly combating these misconceptions, the emotional, needy life-suck that these patients can be, and the lack of nourishment i get professionally and personally as an NP, i can think of at least two words that explains what i am:

FUCKING TIRED.

*what exactly is a bitchbag, you ask? is it a noun or a verb? here's a little education: it's both!

examples:

n. "Dear patient, i am not your bitchbag. Sincerely, your friendly NP."
(note: this is not the same as a douchebag, which means: "to be a bag of douche." instead it means to be a receptacle in which people place their bitching. it's sort of like being a garbage can, but instead of holding trash, you hold bitching.

v. "i can't believe he just drive-by bitchbagged me! now i have to catch up on work AND try to detox my life."

it is not a pleasant thing to either be a bitchbag or to be bitchbagged. both experiences--to be in the constant state of bitchbag, and to active state of being bitchbagged-- are soul-destroying, for the victim (in terms of soul) and perpetrator (in terms of karma, if you believe in that) alike.