I left Little Rock today. In my rearview was one very tired, beaten down patient and her equally tired, frustrated (and a bit sad) husband.
I spent most of my breath uttering the words, “Okay, what do you want me to do?” because, seriously?, I offered very little except a warm body, which was enough sometimes.
Mom has struggled with a really high fever for the better part of a week – and that’s just (a) unsettling and (b) scary. What’s more aggravating is that no one can tell us where the g-ddamned thing is coming from already. She’s subjected to test after test after test which takes hour after hour after hour of waiting with very little answers at the end. The answer is always, “Well, we just don’t know. We’ll just have to wait and see. Don’t worry, we see this all the time.”
Well, dickhead, WE don’t see this all the time. WE are not big fans of 104 degree temperatures and uncontrolled body functions and are pretty sure they are BAD things that should be stopped.
Or did I miss a memo?
My folks ran into some of the best and worst nurses this week. I observed some of the same, along with some mediocre doctoring.
(As an aside, I am a terrible person to have sitting around a hospital. You see, I work for a hospital, so I know some of the bullshit that goes on from the administrative side. But, I work for a hospital that is about to launch a care model that is how medicine SHOULD be delivered – and so my standards for how a patient should be cared for are THIS HIGH. I hate to be reminded that this is not how it is. Especially when it’s my mom who’s the patient. Aside over.)
My favorite was the surgeon who came in spouting all this crap about an upcoming gall bladder and abdominal / pelvic scan. She went all the way down the path of “oh, we’ll look at both and this could range anywhere from nothing to having to remove her entire colon.”
Are ya kidding me? Why would you say that? And, more importantly, why would you sit here and talk about this test FROM ACROSS THE ROOM WITHOUT EVER LAYING A HAND ON YOUR PATIENT?
Maybe you should examine her abdomen (which the attending physician said was getting better)?
Maybe you should temper your discussion in front of your patient who is so tired she can’t stay awake?
Maybe you should consider how you would act if it was YOUR mother laying in that bed?
I talked with Dad this morning and Mom’s fever was never higher than 99.4 all last night – and that is something to behold, my friends. I’m hopeful we’re now going to be moving in the right direction.
As a welcome home present for me, Benjamite slept from 9pm to 3:57am. Love that guy.