Sunday, March 20, 2011

The Hartikle Hernia in My Sokaphus and Other Appalachian Afflictions

The Hartikle Hernia in my Sockaphus...and Other Appalachian Afflictions

So here it anonymous blog. You may not know who I am, but then again, if you were personally invited here, you might figure it out.

I work as a nurse practitioner in a small community hospital somewhere in Appalachia. I am a pure bred, home grown girl myself, which I feel gives me license to poke a little fun and give you "outsiders" some insight into this culture where there's never a dull moment and the language is as foreign to many Americans as German is to me.

The title of this blog was inspired by today's " butchering" of the medical language by (let's call her) Butch.

Picture me, (nurse practitioner) reviewing the history with the SUPER DUPER medical student (go Jamie) before going into the room, so I already knew why she was there and what we MIGHT be planning. Picture me writing notes as she's telling me her story, and med student writing notes as well.

First of all, Butch is kinda out of work, because you see she had a run of bad luck and was born, as my Indian friend says "d-lazy." Anyway...she has this pain in her abdominal that has been there for 3 years and today she just can't take no more. Yesterday, she called down yonder to the GI doc's office and insisted that the doctor had to see her "right now." She was there 14 months ago and had an ulcer "THIS BIG" (makes the shape/size of a basketball with her hands), "he said it was the biggest one he's ever seen!" WELL, I might have been more impressed but so far this week, four patients have told me they had the biggest ulcers that doctor ever did see ...anyhoo (rolling my eyes).

When she saw that clearly I was listening and interested enough to write all this down, she decided to elaborate further and tell us how she has a "hartikle hernia," (I'm not sure I spelled HARTIKLE correctly since it's not a real word). As if that still isn't enough to make me call Lifestar and fly her to Mayo Clinic, she proceeds to tell us that her sockaphus (?is that the same thing as an esophagus?) is "swole up all the way from my neck to here (points at pelvic area)".  OMG! Get the crash cart ready, by golly, I just passed ACLS and might get to use it!

So with all this, aren't you wondering what happened between calling the doctor's office and going to the hospital? She came in because she is uninsured and the doctor asked for her to pay a small amount of her balance prior to the visit. So she figured she'd just come to the hospital and get it for free. FREE? WTH?

Oh, yeah, I almost forgot that one final attempt at sympathy and letting her stay  to have a million dollar work-up that she never plans to pay a dime on -  an ER doctor told her she has a  "mask" on her lung and it might be cancer. I got the name of this doctor and he's on my list for the next batch of egg salad gone bad.

When when Jamie and I left the room, we compared notes from our history-taking adventure. Both of us had written three words "hartikle," "sockaphus," and "mask."

I'll miss you, Jamie, you brought smiles to my day - your patients are going to love you  :) I'm glad I could teach you how to take good notes!!!

Hey, Y'all, watch 'iss!

1 comment:

  1. Gotta love it! I had a patient who went to her chinacologist for her female stuff, and took latex for her swole up legs.