Sunday, April 27, 2014


I've known, since I worked for a medical malpractice insurance company in the 90s, that there were nurse practitioners NPs).  I didn't know they were "advanced practice RNs" (APRNs) with much advanced training.  I didn't know that the "...concept of the APRN as a primary care provider was created in the mid-1960s,"  says Wikipedia.  

One morning recently, I learned they can be primary care providers when I had a strange skin inflammation under my breasts (including the radiated breast) and couldn't get in to see my doctor.  The office could work me in with the NP.  It was no time to hide from the unfamiliar.  At least the NP was a woman.

During the couple of days before my appointment, I looked up the various skin rashes on line, and thought I found the culprit.  My breasts are heavy, no longer perky, and the climate here is best called humid.

I like her as soon as she said "Hi."  She's not a kid, and has the look, somehow, of experience.  I was right about that.  I told her my problem and a few things about me.  She grabbed the ever-handy computer, which she worked like a pro, found my meds list, cleaned it out and updated it in a hurry.  She made suggestions for keeping clean between showers in this climate:  baby wipes.  (Insisting that since they are for preventing diaper rash, I might like them better than my feminine wipes.)  

I told her about my feet, also, and how I'd given up on finding a good podiatrist who knows all types of foot anatomy.  She immediately gave me the name of one she'd worked with in the past!

She punched a few keys and sent a prescription to my drug store. Gave me a couple instructions for the cream.

We talked about OB/Gyn doctors and Well Woman exams. 

I thanked her profusely, trying to express how great it felt to deal with not just a new problem, but with things long neglected during the spine saga and the DCIS saga.  What a relief!

PS  Speaking of the DCIS saga, I now suspect my skin problem may be due to a thick liquid baby soap I've been showering with since the beginning of radiation. We'll see.   

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