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I think my heart is breaking, a little. [View All]

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Aristus Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Dec-08-11 11:31 PM
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I think my heart is breaking, a little.
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It's so hard to stay objective in this line of work.

I have one patient, she's a prostitute and a heroin addict. And she has some serious issues with depression. She muscles her heroin, and she's in every couple of weeks to get an incision, drainage, and some antibiotics. She's always at least a little weepy and anxious, but yesterday really tore me up.

When I entered the exam room, she was distractedly putting on her makeup, and crying. I couldn't get her to give me a history of her current condition. Foundation, powder, lipstick, even mascara, even though it ran continuously, since she was crying the whole time. She finally took a minute to show me her new abscess; a little swelling and redness, but not ready for incision and drainage. Some antibiotics and a few days of warm wet compresses would take care of it. Then she went back to her frantic makeup application, still weeping. She even brushed some polish over the onychomycosis on her fingernails.

I got her taken care of. But when I finally had a chance to think about it, the makeup seemed to me to symbolize her human dignity, her sense of self worth. I can only imagine what a horrible train wreck of a life she must have. And I can't get rid of the image of her crying and compulsively applying her makeup, as if, fully made up, her life wouldn't be so awful.

Maybe that's some poor dime store analysis there, but that's my take on it.

I love what I do, but it can take a lot out of you...

Thank you for listening.
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  -I think my heart is breaking, a little. Aristus  Dec-08-11 11:31 PM   #0 
  - I hear you, my dear Aristus...  CaliforniaPeggy   Dec-08-11 11:35 PM   #1 
  - that is heartbreaking  Kali   Dec-08-11 11:36 PM   #2 
  - Sometimes the facade takes the place of who we really are.  bluesbassman   Dec-08-11 11:55 PM   #3 
  - Thank you, bluesbassman.  Aristus   Dec-10-11 07:57 PM   #20 
  - All the lonely people, where do they all come from?  tblue   Dec-09-11 12:49 AM   #4 
  - But prostitution is so EMPOWERING! How dare you pity her!  PassingFair   Dec-09-11 07:54 AM   #5 
  - i was thinking the wrapping it up in a neat bow of pretty woman.  seabeyond   Dec-09-11 09:02 AM   #8 
  - starving to death to support her heroin habit is clearly better. nt  La Lioness Priyanka   Dec-09-11 10:43 PM   #13 
  - !!!!!!!!!!!!  Odin2005   Dec-09-11 08:46 AM   #6 
  - Is there something we could do to help her?  TuxedoKat   Dec-09-11 08:53 AM   #7 
  - I blame a lot of this on the right.  Denninmi   Dec-09-11 09:22 AM   #9 
  - You are such a good man.  redwitch   Dec-09-11 09:29 AM   #10 
  - I'm wondering if it wasn't something different.  Bunny   Dec-09-11 10:31 AM   #11 
  - You know, Bunny, I hadn't thought of that simple and rather logical explanation.  Aristus   Dec-10-11 07:59 PM   #21 
  - You are a good egg. As long as she is still alive there is hope that she can turn it around.  applegrove   Dec-09-11 10:29 PM   #12 
  - what does muscles her heroin mean? and what is onychomycosis?  La Lioness Priyanka   Dec-09-11 10:43 PM   #14 
  - She injects it into the large muscles of her body, butt, thighs, etc.  Aristus   Dec-09-11 11:16 PM   #15 
     - poor girl. what a terrible state to be in  La Lioness Priyanka   Dec-09-11 11:17 PM   #16 
  - Maybe the makeup  suninvited   Dec-09-11 11:55 PM   #17 
  - .  Flaxbee   Dec-10-11 12:18 AM   #18 
  - Thank you, Flaxbee.  Aristus   Dec-10-11 08:04 PM   #22 
  - you are a witness  grasswire   Dec-10-11 12:13 PM   #19 

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