Thursday Born

The everyday life of a psychiatry resident (who was born on a Thursday).

The Ones That Persist

with 2 comments

I’m starting to collect patients in my head, people who I don’t think I’ll ever entirely forget. Their names will fade – most have already slipped away – but enough salient features will remain to distinguish them from the hundreds of others that will blur together.

One night on Orthopedic Trauma call, we were consulted to see a patient in the ICU. Nineteen or twenty year old male. In a coma after a very simple accident that could happen to anyone. Probably would never recover. He was so young, and more striking, he just looked like he was sleeping, but he was essentially dead. I wish I remembered his name because I meant to check if he did die, but I’ll never know for sure.

Then just recently, my Neurology team was consulted on a patient for something a little silly, but we all went to check up on her the next day when we were rounding. Near the end of the physical exam, her age came to light, and we were all shocked. 78! And so healthy! There are people her age who can end up in the hospital but be fine? Who can tandem walk and balance on their toes and heels and otherwise complete a full neuro exam? It was a little sad how shocked my entire team was, from us two medical students all the way up to our Attending. Seventy-eight, and many years ahead of her, barring any surprises.

I try to shy away from talking specifically about patients here, because HIPAA is very serious business, but I think every now and then I’ll share a little bit about these patients, the ones I won’t forget, and the ones I don’t want to forget.

Written by Aba

September 18, 2011 at 1:26 pm

Posted in Uncategorized

2 Responses

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  1. These are lovely stories, and I would love to read more of them. Doctors, and hospitals especially, are often seen as cold and impersonal; things like this really humanize them.

    Allie Sparks

    September 19, 2011 at 11:53 am

    • Thank you. :) That’s part of the core reason why I write here; putting a human face to the medical profession.


      September 19, 2011 at 8:13 pm

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