This is what I wrote last night, but it wouldn't let me post:
The link to my photo albums should be up and working now. I've updated everything - feel free to take a peek.
Sometimes I feel like life revolves around eating. Maybe it does. Anyway, last night we went to dinner with Jennifer Keller - it had been way too long. She is doing well, much improved, falling in love?, etc. I was so glad to see her. She is like a rock as far as friends go. Always there to check on you. Bryce and Sunshine Murray also came. I swear, hanging out with all these surgeons wears me out. Just the thought of spending that many hours in the hospital. Yikes. A good time was had by all. The Living Room is awesome.
Work was more enjoyable today because the fellow wasn't there - I had more time to "run the team" and give my ideas about the patients. Also connected with my attending, Dr. Martin. Her daughter was in Mom's class at the Anthony. And she and Brent Polk go way back, so it was fun to hear her talk about that.
I had a patient tell me today, "Kill me. Kill me." He was mouthing the words because he has a tracheostomy (breathing tube via his neck; think papal). I didn't know what to do. At first I acted like I couldn't understand him - because I wasn't sure that's what he meant at all. He was pointing at something. I think he was telling me to tell his doctors (we're only the consultants) that he wants to die. He was saying, "Die. Die. Die."
Sometimes you think you have a hold on medical ethics and your opinions. Everyone has their time, etc. I approach a lot of these things philosophically, and it seems like I'm always thinking about them. But then, you're totally put on the spot and staring into the eyes of some patient you barely even know - and he's BEGGING you to let him go. I wish I were his main doc. I would sit and spend more time with him and figure out what his wishes are. But when you're in the surgical ICU and the surgery residents are waiting right there, telling you that they'll "get it from here," you're stuck. Some days you come home exhausted for no "physical" reason - today was one of those days. This wore me out. All I could do was try to comfort him and let him know that we were going to try to help him get better. He'll be the first person I see tomorrow.
Appropriately, the lecture at a banquet I went to tonight was on medical ethics, professionalism, etc. The speaker is a well-renowned ethicist and educator. I enjoyed her talk, but my thoughts were with this patient instead. All I can do is voice my opinion in this man's care. The rest is up to someone else. I hope they are compassionate.