Sep 17, 2009

Bummer, dude

So a patient we saw a couple weeks ago died. He wasn't my patient or anything, but I did manage to botch his blood draw twice even though he had really awesome veins, and instead of being a whiny jerk about it like some people are on even the first stick when they're in the hospital primarily because they like dilaudid and would like more of it, instead he said it was no problem and asked if I wanted him to kick his family out if they were making me nervous.

Basically, the thing with him is he didn't seem very sick, and he was a nice guy. I mean, he had a lot of troubling symptoms, but he was a healthy guy, not a particularly old guy, and didn't have any risk factors. He didn't smoke, drink heavily, or have unprotected sex with IV drug abusing unimmunized bestiality-specializing prostitutes. He stayed in shape. He just got sick, got short of breath, and died extremely rapidly without much of anything medicine could do for him short of botch his blood draws while he was insisting he didn't have AIDS (he didn't). Weirdly, AIDS would have been a far better diagnosis. Weirdly as well, it was the one all the students were hoping he wouldn't have just before they discovered how much deadlier "idiopathic" is. If this were an episode of House, there'd just be some banter about how "idiopathic" means "f- if we know" and there'd be some miracle diagnosis at the 49 minute mark and this guy would go home to his wife. But, as mentioned, medicine is way more like Scrubs, so everything just carries along normally, and everyone's making jokes, and then they just cap someone in the last five minutes because it's sweeps week.

Weirdly, in this sort of thing, it's just a sort of depressing blip in your day before you go back to being told how unmotivated and incompetent you are before proving your maturity by framing one of your colleague's for stealing the other's reflex hammer. It's the way it goes. But it sucks sometimes.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Idiopathic is an adjective used primarily in medicine meaning arising spontaneously or from an obscure or unknown cause. From Greek ἴδιος, idios (one's own) + πάθος, pathos (suffering), it means approximately "a disease of its own kind."

Similarly, in the American television show House, the title character remarks that the word "comes from the Latin, meaning 'we're idiots, because we don't know what's causing it.'"