The Gum Tree for 2007 August 31 (entry 0)

< Thought You Should Know
Sunday Talk: Enduring Well Life's Trials and Changes >

Fri Aug 31 22:54:54 My First Patient:

I saw my first patient today in the hospital. It is an interesting field I am in: a losing battle perhaps since death is inevitable, but I suppose it isn't so much about life or death as it is about helping other people to use their capacities for their own good and for the good of others--or at least give them the opportunity to do so by helping them with health.

My patient is an alcoholic who is currently unemployed, never married, and has no children. As a young man he was a bassist in a band. He has chronic pancreatitis which has caused him to loose the capacity to make Insulin; so he is diabetic and has lost quite a bit of weight. He also has chronic heart problems and acute respiratory complications (which is why he was in the hospital). His smoking made this worse. Oxygen had a hard time getting from his lungs, through his heart, and into his tissues. To make matters worse, his diabetes and low oxygen are damaging his retina so he is going blind. Most of these problems would have been prevented if he had simply not drunk alcohol or smoked, but people will choose what they will choose.

Perhaps much if not all of medicine would be futile if I were to look at it from a purely secular/intellectual point of view. It is good to know that there is more to life than this, and that is what makes all the tests and hard work worth it in the end.


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