Wednesday, March 16, 2005

The Patient’s Family and the Asshole

There are times when I feel like my entire day is wasted updating one family after another about the current condition of my patient. I have other patients to care for, conferences, lectures, and tests to arrange. Not to mention the other odd situations that pop-up here and there. So when I spend more than 5 minutes discussing “the situation” I get antsy and, if sleep deprived, I get nasty.

And yet there I was, the husband sitting by the bedside, a doctor in disguise, watching my wife in pain and realizing there was really nothing I could do to help, simply put, it was torment. As I watched the number of contractions rise I knew they would correlate well with anguish, and they did.

A few hours into the labor the monitor began to show decelerations. There are different types of deceleration but this was an ominous sign and I knew it. Now worried not only for my wife but for our unborn baby there I was again, the husband sitting by the bed hoping this bad dream would go away and that the labor would progress smoothly. Looking back, it was one of the most miserable experiences I’ve ever had, and it was overall a HAPPY occasion, after all, I was expecting a baby.

How many families must’ve left the hospital thinking that their loved one’s doctor was a horrible person? How many families did I shrug off, avoid, or act rude to. Simply put, until now I was an asshole. They were worried sick and I shrugged them off as crazy and overbearing.

These are just some of my thoughts.