Tuesday, July 8, 2014

Medicine has limitations

I lost a patient today. Not really my patient anymore. But you know how patients will always be your patients even when u change units, hospitals, countries.
28 yrs old. Diagnosis stumped everyone. This is the part of medicine that sucks. Heads of every department involved were called to review and still, no definite diagnosis could be made. Nothing added up. Nothing made sense. It confused the most experienced doctors.
Every time this happens, there is a feeling of what else could have been done. You rehearse every step, every decision, every symptom and at the end, you come up empty. Cos you are not God.
Still this is sad. I'm the type of doctor, I can't help it, I bond with my patients and their families. He was no different. His mom became the smiling, though worried face I saw every time I got to work and every time I was leaving. Yes, she was there, all day, every day. She told me a few days ago, with eyes wide "Doc, this is my only son oh" I said I know, it is well. This only son had nursed her back to health when she had surgery a couple years ago.
You may say it comes with the territory, hospitals come with what they come with. But I can never...and I never want to get used to losing a patient. I'll deal with the hurt if it makes me human. And maybe, just maybe, the memory will shed light on diagnosis of future confusing cases.

Peace n love. Always stay thankful.

God bless