Sunday, March 18, 2007

Out Facing

Our particular telemetry unit is not specialized in any way whatsoever. We simply apply remote cardiac monitoring to any kind of patient: medical, surgical, respiratory, neurological, cardiac, plainly personality-disordered, chemically addicted, post-CABG, post-esophagectomy, syncope, renal failure with electrolyte imbalances (think K+ of 7.2) crystal-meth-related tachycardia or cocaine-induced cardiomyopathy or endocarditis... stuff like that. Whatever. There's more of course.

It's a nice mix. I dig it totally.

This guy had facial lacerations, a subdural hematoma that was resolving without treatment and basically/thankfully asymptomatic. A little tachy, a little shaky, but gracious and a joy to work with. Trauma.

He had a few cracked ribs but the head trauma wasn't anything we needed to be too concerned about. His CAT scans showed resolving SDH and his tachyness was no real issue.

That's nice. I'd write a song about it and record it for my dogs to listen to but they prefer music about meat. Like raw beef. They're Labs. Perfectly happy and normal. I dig Netrebko, they dig hamburger. So it goes. I'll take Anna over pork chops any day. Who wouldn't?

What a nice guy he was. One of the most honest and humble individuals I've ever met. This was the story:

He'd admitted himself to the legal system; that is, he walked into a police station high on crystal and asked for help six months ago, upon which they immediately arrested him and processed him for holding, which he had planned by making sure that a small amount of meth was assured to be found on him. He wanted jail time to clear up.

Then he went home.

That's where his stuff was. Clothes and things.

So he gets off jail, enters The Program with an honesty that would humble Christ, who basically was a freakin' liar, and then you know how it went down:

While he was in jail out in the West Valley he attended AA meetings and maintained sobriety. Not so easy in jail, where corrruption and graft make it all too easy to relapse.

Not as easy, of course, to relapse if you just happen to be the President of the United States of America.

Is Bush drinking alcohol? Yes. To excess? Yes. Is it a progressive disease? Yes. Is he, without treatment, getting worse in his disease? Yes.

Despite a broken arm and a busted-up face, my patient refused to go home, because that is where he came from upon admission. "Tony," his Alcoholics Anonymous peer counselor while he was in jail, had encouraged him to go to a half-way house instead of just going home.

That was his intention. But upon release from jail, his friends beat the crap out of him and broke his ribs and busted up his head. He'd only stopped off at home to pick up some ID and clothes before checking in at a halfway-house. He'd been clean a half-year in jail.

So he landed on my working doorstep. A bit of tachycardia got him a tele bed.

This dude's trying so hard to stay clean. He took an anvil to the head and a punch to his ribs to stay off the crystal and booze. As well as a half-year in Goodyear.

But he ended up "in" to get "out." My heart is with this guy. If only McCain would try as hard, or Kyl. It'd be a better world.

I guess. But then it could be a lot worse. I'm thinking Himmler. There's a face. That's a guy who didn't try very hard; to be normal, that is.

1 comment:

may said...

another sad story. why do we make it so hard for people to change?