- I can’t imagine how it must feel to cure somebody. Taking away someone’s pain must feel like the ultimate triumph. But for doctors, losing a patient must be the other extreme—also something I could never comprehend. Fingers And Tubes In Every Orifice shares a painful experience:
A patient I saved died a few days later from complications of a procedure that I performed. She was barely breathing when she came in. I saved her life but f'ed up at the same time and now she's dead.
Obvious – You know them by name… You see them as often, if not more so, than your family. Usually have “Severe abdominal pain”, occasionally “chest pain”, but abdominal pain with nausea leaves all of the oral pain meds out of the mix, and is the usual favorite. Usually allergic to Demerol, some even claim to be allergic to toradol. They know they got something last time that really helped… they think it started with a D, it sounded like dilly-something… could you try and get that for me…..
Which brings me to the point of the post: as I've said previously, the best outcomes occur when docs work collaboratively. And that implies, among other things, that the people involved 1) know what they're doing, 2) like the idea of collaboration, and 3) can do it in a collegial fashion.
- I’m a worrier—everything gives me pause! UroStream, the friendly urologist, answers one of the things that I’ve always wondered about. Do doctors worry about their patients? Or, is just a job? You’ll see UroStream has a heart of gold—gold is kind of ironic considering she’s a urologist:
I'm also what I privately call a "secret worrier". On the outside, I appear to be a well-adjusted carefree individual who doesn't excessively worry about small things. Though I may project an image of serenity, I worry secretly. I obsess about small details, especially about patients who have undergone recent surgeries. I feel a tremendous sense of responsibility for any patients who are at the hospital because I operated on them.
I recall one inmate I treated several years ago who was 40 years old, with terminal metastatic breast cancer. She kept saying that she wanted to get paroled so that she could see her children one last time before she died. I even wrote a letter to the governor, asking that she might be given leniency. A couple of months later I saw a story about her on a local TV newscast and learned that she was serving a life sentence for arson and attempted murder. She had set her house on fire with her husband and children sleeping inside.
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