Mrs. “Matapang”

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This entry is a tribute to a non-psychotic patient referred to Psychiatry by IM for a number of symptoms that cannot be explained by normal lab results, and of course, knowing IM, a thorough history and PE. 

She is a middle-aged woman, thin-looking who is conscious and has good insight why she is at the clinic. Her anamnesis struck me. She had a lot of struggles in life. She has been a waitress, a dancer, a vendor, a dishwasher, every possible work a mother can do just to bring up her seven children. I can say her children are very lucky for having her as their mother. She is very afraid to die because she does not want to leave her children at very dependent ages. She said she has prayed it to God several times, “wag Nyo po muna ako kukunin.” At different times, she would volunteer that she is “matapang” especially if it is for her family. She is one of those vendors that the MMDA is constantly pestering to leave the sidewalk. But at times, during the interview, we probably prodded her too much that tears would flow from her eyes, which she immediately wipes with her white face towel. 

I can feel her. That feeling of spending laboratories just to rule out disease condition and eventually ending up in a clinic just because she is being suspected to have a condition that she is probably having a psychiatric illness.

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