Wednesday, December 5, 2012
Some barriers are unable to be breached.
He was intense. His arms swung rapidly in opposite directions as he talked. Words whizzed out of his mouth like formula one cars, shooting past me and often missing their target. His physical presence was far smaller than his spiritual. Yet he was an immense man. His brutish exterior hid a much kinder and gentler soul.
He was rough around the edges.
He tolerated the antibiotics just fine, but this was his third bout of diverticulitis. The last was particularly severe. I wrote the referral for the surgeon, and placed it in front of him. He read the name quietly and looked up at me.
Surgeon, why do I need a surgeon?
I carefully explained how the nature of his recurrent infections necessitated surgery. His posture changed dramatically after the "s" word parted my lips. His colorful face mimicked his language as he spouted uncontrollably.
Surgery, surgery...Fuck You!
I could see the look of surprise and regret before he sputtered a pressured apology.
It was really rather offhanded.
I had called to relay the latest results of her daughter's blood tests. Everything looked fine. She breathed a sigh of relief. The hospitalization of her twenty year old child was enough to send her over the edge.
But she survived. They survived. And likely this was the end of a trying but hopefully not scarring episode in their lives. We chatted for a few minutes before hanging up. I had taken care of one or another family member for the last decade. There was a certain familiarity.
As we went to say our parting goodbyes, she paused for a moment.
Doctor G, you know we really love you!
I thanked her and hung up the phone. My mobile was ringing, the front desk was over heading me, and the computer was flashing.
Drip, drip, drip.
And down to the ground.
Posted by Jordan Grumet at 10:00 AM