Sunday, September 4, 2011

Keep Fighting

So, I'm going to avoid any HIPAA violations and not mention anything personal about my patient that you've read about for 3 days. But here are the sweet moments of his stay with me.

1. Hugs from the family about a week into everything
2. Being asked for by name by his family members
3. Chocolate chip walnut homemade cookies brought by his family
4. The patient's mom's ensuring my AC gets fixed or else she's sending someone out to do it herself
5. Having the neurosurgeon tell me he's going to wake up, that he can survive
6. Knowing he never even got a whiff of a pressor
7. The bracelets his friends made for support and being provided one to wear proudly myself (see above, they mention his name but that would be poor HIPAA form)
8. When he tolerated tube feeds
9. When he looked me in the eye for the first time
10. When he tried to stop me while I was changing his gastrostomy tube
11. When his grandpa told me "I know you won't bullshit me. But you'll still be upbeat."
12. Making it off the ventilator
13. Fist bumps with his Dad when I had good news, or met goals I had set for us (like his TBili being less than was 1.4 on the day he left)
14. Sweet elbow bumps and waves from them as they walked by when I was working on notes
15. Visits with his family in the waiting room (about my own personal life too)
16. Having an attending stand up for him in conference by saying he wouldn't be a vegetable and that he would wake up (I wasn't the only one that believed!)
17. Presenting him in trauma conference and OWNING him as my patient and being proud of my management
18. Giving updates to the OR staff on his condition/disposition (especially calling to tell them he had been transferred out!)
19. Lingering in his room a bit longer to catch more Looney Tunes while I was working with him

And my most favorite:
The day he was transferred out, I had worn bumble bee earrings. Most of you know, I collect bee things. (Mom and Dad always called me Miss B...which turned into Miss Bee...Dr. Bee...and a love for bee stuff). I hadn't worn bee earrings in at least a month. One of the ICU nurses commented on them, and then Dad's eyes started to well up. Apparently, there is a motivational speaker out there (I couldn't repeat her name even if I tried) that uses the bumble bee analogy that I used for a previous blog post title. She speaks to the fact that aerodynamically speaking, a bumble bee should not be able to fly. Yet, they go on flying anyway. I've always enjoyed that little fact about bees myself. It's part of the reason I've never been hesitant to adopt them as my personal "symbol". On August 30 (the day I put those earrings on for my last call on the rotation), this motivational speaker had called the patient's mom with full knowledge of the situation and to offer support--out of the clear blue. And my precious little Kate Spade bumble bee earrings served as a reminder of that we can overcome things that shouldn't be possible. Maybe my patient shouldn't be alive, but he goes on living anyway. And maybe he shouldn't be doing as well as he is, but he keeps on doing it. That makes me proud. Proud of my patient, and proud to be Dr. Bee.


    I'm so happy for you.
    So, so happy.

  2. As a friend of the family of "your patient", let me just say THANK YOU, not only for being the physician, but mostly the person you are!

  3. To the anonymous reader here: it is my pleasure to be involved! It has been incredibly heart warming it is to still be a part of his care and to see him progress. If only everyone could be so lucky to feel the warmth his family and friends radiate!


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