Thursday, September 06, 2007

Well That's Never Happened Before!

The charge nurse came up to me in the middle of a busy shift the other day and said, "Doc, a patient you took care of last month wants to see you."

I ran for the nearest hiding place and she said, "No, it's not like that, she wants to thank you."

"Thank me?" Huh? "Is this a joke?"

"No."

So I went out to meet this woman and she didn't ring a bell. She had a big smile on her face and said to me, "Doctor, I bet that not many people come back to thank you so here I am."

I didn't recognize her because the first time I saw her her face was mashed-in and she was cut in a lot of places and she was quite a pitiful sight. She had been assaulted in her home by an unknown intruder. I CT scanned and Xrayed and numbed and washed and stitched and comforted and three hours later she left looking better but like Fankenstein with big nasty suture lines all over her face.

She looked amazing. She told me that the follow up surgeons had complimented my work and that she was very grateful and thankful for me and best of all, she wasn't scared or crying, she had that air of confidence about her that let me know that if a 'next time' occured that she would end up calling the police to collect the body of the intruder.

Wow. It made my day and I told her so and then went back to work.

10 comments:

  1. Wow!

    It almost make wading through the bullshit for 10-12 hours worth it....almost.

    Cat

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  2. Did she bring you cookies? I always thank my doctors/my kids doctors, and it warms my heart to know it means something to you as well. What a wonderful day for you! You deserved it after how you were feeling a few posts ago!

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  3. Every now and then, someone comes along to restore your faith in humans. And sometimes, someone comes along to restore our faith in ourselves.

    MMT

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  4. Very cool of that person to come amd thank you. And you are very good at what you do.

    Well done, doctor.

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  5. That's wonderful that she took the time to do that. I don't think enough people take the time to day thank you and it can make such a difference to people.

    It must be the best feeling to see the difference you make in another person's life.

    Sounds like a job well done. :)

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  6. ETOTHEIP

    if by 'doing her' you mean did i spend lots of money on diagnsostic radiological procedures and about an hour doing my best imitation of a plastic surgeon, then yes, i did 'do her'. and, i might add, it was good for both of us.

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  7. Talk about putting the spring back into your step. Way cool.

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  8. Sure, we're just doing our jobs. But it is so nice when someone recognizes that you did a GOOD job instead of a fast one.

    I got stopped leaving the hospital last week. The lady approached me and said "Do you remember me?" I was honest and replied that I did not as my eyes darted back and forth looking for the nearest cover in case she had a gun.

    She identified herself and reminded me that I had seen her a few weeks ago with abdominal pain. I treated her pain and worked her up and she had a rather unusual presentation of a diverticular abscess.

    She was admitted, and treated with CT drainage and IV antibiotics and did well.

    She was looking for me just to thank me for doing my job. It was such a pleasant change from the norm.

    I don't look for (nor do I expect) "thank you" cards from the patients I treat. I just try and avoid complaint letters since the hospital is seemingly only interested in complaints!

    I have decided that there are two basic types of complaint letters.

    The first type are the ones which are written by a family member (usually someone with some minor degree of medical training) and who often wasn't even there at the patient encounter. They are convinced that based on their 6 months of medical terminology training, I should have managed their loved one's case differently.

    The second type is the patient with incredibly unrealistic expectations regarding what an Emergency Department IS and what it is NOT. ("The doctor seemed very uncaring as I told him about the pain in my back that has been there for 3 years and moves into my left big toe, then shoots out of my foot and goes to my right big toe and up my other leg and then throbs behind my spleen"). This person is invaribly "allergic" to ultram, toradol, nsaids, compazine, benadryl, thorazine, lithium, all steroids, latex, and IV dye, and has seen by specialists in 3 states having had every medical procedure known except a culdocentesis!

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  9. Well, I made it a point to thank my Radiation Therapist for saving my life and for everything else she did for me and it literally brought tears to her eyes as she told me that she bonded with her patients for eight weeks and then when they were done they would just disapear. I say she saved my life because as I was waiting to go in for my first treatment I was ready to get out of there and take my chances with alternative treatments. But just as I was about to get up she showed up in the doorway where you would usually see someone with a chart in their hand and kinda look your way and say Mr. ***** we're ready for you...no she didn't do that...she leaned against the door jam with a smile on her face that just screamed that she was happy to see me and said "You ready?" and before I could offer my protest she just tilted her head toward the treatment room and said "Come on, lets go." Well, I would have walked through the gates of hell with her right then....in 5 seconds she suddenly cleared out my 'cancer fog' you cancer patients know what that is I'm sure...for you others it is a kind of zombie state of mind where you just kinda go through your life in a fog going through treatments, surgeries, etc. until they finally give you THE NEWS hopefully the news is good but you always know it could be really bad...it was weeks after I completed the treatments that I realized how she did it....by breaking cardnial rule #1 she allows her heart to play a part in what she does...for that she does pay a price...I felt that everyone that left there and didn't make it a point to come back they took a piece of her heart with them .... so all you folks out there that encountered someone like her PLEASE do what I did ...go out and get a thank you card and write on it all of the things that you can remember that they did for you...no matter how small...then take it to them personally and give them a big hug (you might want to bring tissues cause unless I'm wrong you both will probably need them)...thanks for the opportunity to speak out

    Roadracer

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