Friday, November 26, 2010
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.
Posted by 911DOC at Friday, November 26, 2010