Monthly Archives: March 2011

The Sickest People I Know are Nurses

It is true. These are legal nurse consultants, working at the limits of their physical capacity, and never complaining about aches, pains or the horrible nausea from chemotherapy. I have known some LNC ‘s for years before they told me they had cancer or Crohn’s or a debilitating orthopedic condition.

I am fortunate to be in good health. A major cold is enough to stop me in my tracks, each minute feels like an hour, and fleeting stomach upset makes me look twice at staying in bed.

But these nurses. One in particular is a dynamo; she projects positive energy, shares her contacts, knowledge and resources with others, and never complains. She has so much information in her head she should have her own search engine. She is on chemo, and just yesterday, she said to me, “Alice, this chemo thing is not that bad. My sister cut my long hair short so it wouldn’t be a shock to lose it; this Zofran handles the nausea, and those mouth sores respond pretty well to the medicated mouthwash. Anemia and thrombocytopenia will be a problem, but listen; I have a case I’m working on. Let me tell you about it…”

And, off she goes. Within the forums that I frequent, a good percentage of the LNC’s either currently have or have had cancer or other disabling diseases. Undoubtedly, the illness rate is higher than in the general nursing population. They work because they love it, they need the mental stimulation, they have families who depend upon their income, and because they are tough. No one is judging their consult report by how they dressed that day and no one will know if they were too sick to get out of bed when they wrote that excellent report.

They are nurses, and they are tough. If a legal nurse consultant tells you to get over yourself and get on with it, there is a good chance that she is speaking from personal experience. Listen to her.

Plea(s) and Thank You

It is Friday.  Your phone rings at 3pm and a desperate attorney needs an expert by Monday morning.  In reality, he identified the need for an expert weeks ago, but the search was postponed in hopes of mediation or a settlement that did not occur.

Or.  Your own deadline is looming and you know that out there, hidden among the .pdf’s and scientific abstracts, is the data that will bolster your opinion.  You can support or refute a position or diagnosis, determine pre-existing conditions or alternate causation; you just cannot find the authoritative research. 

You put out the call.  Listservs, forums and exchanges exist for such crises and sure enough, other nurses come to your aid.  Within short order, several have emailed you with names, articles, resources, whatever you need, and you can breathe again.  They answered your pleas – did you remember to say thank you?

It is gratifying to help others, and even though you will one day return the favor, the moment for appreciation is now.  Say thank you right away to the person who dropped what they were doing to help you.