Wednesday, July 19

I did not really know him, but I'll miss him.

(note: all of the information in this post comes from contact that is not HIPPA protected...)

There's this guy who worked at the hospital that I'd see in the ED on occasion. Doc, nurse, resp. therapist, admissions clerk - It doesn't matter what he did. I probably interacted with him 40 times or so after bringing in a patient.

This guy, call him "L", pretended to be a curmudgeon. You'd walk in with a patient and he'd greet you with a scowl and "what are you wasting my time with tonight". But he didn't mean it. You knew he didn't mean it as he NEVER said this on nights when you were not in the mood or the patient might take it the wrong way. You knew he didn't mean it when you'd see him smile as he was walking away to get some equipment. He was so good at what he did that you spent no time wondering if it was done right. You KNEW if he did it, it was done. The kind of guy who was always in a hurry and didn't talk much, but stopped to quietly ask you how you were doing after you just worked a full arrest. Just a decent guy.

I heard while I was in Australia that "L" had been at work and suddenly starting showing signs of a brain bleed. For better or worse they managed to keep him alive. Today, minutes before I had a meeting I HAD to go to, our tones dropped for a full arrest at "L"'s house. Today he didn't make it.

It is odd to "know" people without really knowing them. To be touched by the death of someone you have never eaten a meal with or shared a beer. I don't know where "L" went to college, what his favorite ice cream flavor was, or what he did for fun. I do know the people who work with him will miss having him around and think about him often. My thoughts are with his family tonight, and I dread seeing his wife who also works at the hospital.

Safe travels "L". You made many a night more comfortable for me and my patients and I thank you.