Wednesday, July 30, 2008


.. you are a 60ish year old female who up until last week have been having a healthy life.

Last week, you start feeling flu-like symptoms, anorexia, and cannot go to the bathroom for a bowel movement.

You go to the Emergency Department because your ED-nurse son says you need to get some fluids. He's thinking you're dehydrated and constipated, and with a fleet or two you'll be fine.

Well you go, you get tests, and xrays, and a CT scan. Then the surgeons come see you. You have a bowel obstruction. NG tube took 4 tries but it got in (you have a sensitive gag reflex), and the foley was uncomfortable and a bit embarrassing. The ED nurse takes you up to the OR because you sent your husband home early, thinking you would be home in the morning.

The surgeon comes back into your room post-surgery. You are groggy, but you hear what he said:

Cancer. Large tumor, spread everywhere....... 6 months to live.

I can't imagine that, and yet this is what happened to my patient tonight. I sent a prayer for this family once I heard the news.

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