December 28, 2015

the beginning of rehab

When I got out of the hospital, I could barely walk 20 feet. I began rehabbing by hobbling around with a cane in the gym the day after I got out of the hospital. (Caveat, this is NOT an exercise I recommend. There are better.)

December 25, 2015

Christmas in the call room

Not a pager was stirring. Nor even a phone. 

you can never break the chains

I pronounced the patient's death and eventually made my way to the hospital chapel followed by the ghosts and demons of my past. Some stories are too private, too difficult, too complex to put into words. Perhaps they are best illustrated by the mosaic randomness of a backlighted piece of stain glass in an empty, dark chapel.

December 19, 2015

pain scale

It is my day "off" and I'm back in the ER. The abscess has started trying to grow back. I'm lying in the uncomfortable bed and notice the Visual Analog Pain Scale on the wall. I hate this thing. It's utterly useless both as a physician and as a patient. I much prefer this scale. 

December 11, 2015

and the bottom is reached

Its 3 am and I'm in the hospital. The slow, rhythmic whir and click of the pump is somewhat of a comfort to me. It takes me back to when I was stronger. When I was there with my brother and dad. It's not nearly as impressive as my dad's or brother's IV pole which had two rows of pumps and countless bags. But when the doc pulled out Zosyn, I knew I was much, much sicker than I realized. I only saw Zosyn being used in the ICU and at MD Anderson. 

December 6, 2015

being weak

     I sit in my family doc's exam room. Well, sort of sit. I'm avoiding my left side altogether. It's less than 36 hours after my I&D and I'm feeling weak, tired, ineffectual. In retrospect, I had no idea HOW poorly. My doc enters into the room and the smile fades from his face. His change in demeanor should have clued me in. He exams me and I know what needs to happen. I just need to hear him confirm it. I need some reassurance that I'm not just being a wimp. Throughout everything with my brother, my dad, my son....I could always remain objective. I could split my psyche and remain clinically cold and objective. I was Atlas. But not with myself. I am afraid of being weak. Of being a failure. Of not being strong enough to get to work. I lose all objectivity. It's one thing to need time off for a dying relative. But it's a failure of self to need it for one's own self. I emotionally need him to validate what in my head I already know.
     "I need vanc, cefepime and flagyl, don't I?"
     "Yeah. Yeah, you do. You need to go to the ER."
     "I was just there. Can't I sleep in my own bed and go in the morning."
     His look says it all. "No. Now."