Friday, November 26, 2010

Happy Thanksgiving, Grace.

So I am like a former smoker... You know the kind... the kind that can smoke a cigarette or two... or a cigar... and then go months without one.

I returned to the ER last night and wow, I was reminded right away of why I love it and why I hate it. And it's Thanksgiving, which means, for you guys outside the medical world, that your doctor is not available and that the ER is the only game in town.

Above you see a CT scan of the brain of an elderly individual who is now dead. When we figured out that this person was having a massive intra-cranial hemorrhage and that this person's advanced directives forbade heroic measures it still fell to me to talk to the family. To their credit they stuck with their loved one's wishes.

I was then treated to the manifestations of grace which are rare, but, when witnessed, produce a salutary knowledge that there is something after this life.

This CT Scan show multiple intracranial hemorrhages. This patient is going to die. How do you respond as the family. Well, the way they responded was to thank me. Then one of the family came to me with tears in her eyes and said, 'She said she loved me.' She gave me a hug.

That same night three family members who were in a roll-over motor vehicle crash on the interstate all walked out of the ER and a kid with Down's syndrome gave me a high five.

Happy Thanksgiving.


  1. And a virtual high five to you and your colleagues, for the fantastic job you do.

    Happy Thanksgiving from the other side of the globe.

  2. Nice?????
    Guess that's one way to avoid the death tax, which goes from zero to 55% January 1st.
    And I know you don't pay on the first $1,000,000, which I guess is alot of money for you boobs in the middle class...
    Funny thing how my parents keep avoiding me this year, almost like they think I'm out to get them or something...
    and I guess 50% of 2 million is more than 0% of Nuthin...
    and 9-11, don't apologize for bein an E-ville Smoker, smokings like Heroin or bein a Ho-moe, you either are, or you arent.
    and I don't wanta here that you can go months, even years without havin sex with a dude...
    and whats with the "Down's" terminology? Who are ya? Dr. Phil? Wheres the evil 9-11 we know and love, the guy who makes even Dr. Josef Mengele cry like a little girl...
    In MY neck of the woods, we still call em "Mongoloids", or just "Lloyd" for short.
    Or at least thats what my Dad still calls me...
    Frank "Yeah I've got a Simian Crease, and it smells like your Mama's S*****" Drackman

  3. Frank,
    …in Whoville they say, That 911’s small heart grew three sizes that day!


  4. Wow Frank - you have such a way with words! :)
    911 Dox - you made it out of the ER vortex - why did you ever go back????
    But I have to agree with you that on the rare occassion we see a family act like a family, even in the midst of profound grief, it really is a blessing to be a part of that, even when we can't do anything but console.

  5. Thanks Ziabeth, btw, Tammy Wynette called, she wants her hairstyle back...


  6. is the CT scan upside down?

  7. anon,
    i think it is... it's a high cut and i must have flipped it.