Monday, August 2

Tumor Ridden Pooch, Padded Room, Tractor Fun and Helplessness

Crazy Day. Short version follows…

Took one of my dogs to the vet as he has been loosing weight. X-rays show mass in lungs/liver. They’ll do an ultrasound soon but it doesn’t look good. He is the sweetest dog I’ve ever known (and I’ve known a lot of great ones!) and I hope this can all end without too much pain for him.

EMS Call – Psych evaluation for a resident of a group home. She had been making homicidal and suicidal gestures. When we get to the group home she is being restrained in a “time-out” room that is effectively a lockable padded cell. Spooky room – You would NOT want to be locked alone in this hellhole. Made the 70 minute drive to the psych hospital and things were relatively uneventful on the way there. While we are there a guy with some lacerations walks past me wearing an inside-out shirt and hospital bracelet. Note we are in the “city” now, and this country bumpkin (me) figures that if this guy wants to leave he can leave (and besides, he walks past at least four security guards on the way out). Two minutes later I am looking for my crew when the cops start asking for someone who fits the description of the guy I saw leaving. When I describe him and his behavior to them they give me a “you’ve go to be shitting me” and run out of the hospital. Hmmm.

EMS call – Tractor incident, unknown injuries. Rescue beats us to the scene and has all the patient information and a full set of vitals to hand me (LOVE THEM!). It’s just me and a driver. The patient has some real damage to his foot/ankle but everything else is fine. This guy was TOUGH. Talking to me, showing no sign of pain, and when asked, gives his pain an 8 on a 1-10 scale. Given his age (71) and experiences, this guy knows pain, and yet he doesn’t show it. I’d have been crying like a baby. Soft-splint, ice and a quick trip to our local ED which has the best orthopods for 500 miles.

Home. My wife is making plans to make another trip down to see her father. It is clear that his impending death is weighing heavier on her family as the outcome is undeniable. The doctors have given him his last chemo and radiation treatments, and I think this has triggered the realization that the medical care will be moving from treatment of the cancer to pain management to make his last days easier. I hate seeing my wife in pain and knowing I cannot make it better.

I’m on from 0000-0600 so off for a few hours (hopefully many more) of sleep. I have a meeting tommorrow that pretty much proves that August is here and my "real" job is heating up. I'm not ready for summer to be over!