Tuesday, January 31, 2006

Draw Your Own Conclusions (By DrWho)

This is probably a HIPA violation, so I will try to limit the details.

I had a patient the other night who required stat surgery (immediate). I went to take him to the OR and I was quite annoyed with him. He was a very sick man who made himself that way by his past use of IV drugs. He was dirty and malnurished with greasy hair. He was talking out of his head. Asking the same questions over and over that weren't really relevant and just generally making an ass of himself. I wasn't happy. After all, I could've been sleeping.

I took him back to surgery which was giong to be attempted with him awake (sounds bizarre, but you would be amazed at what surgeons can do with a little lidocaine a long wire and an x-ray machine). I had started to give him some medicine to sedate him, but it wasn't working. He was still annoying me! I had had about enough when he looked up at me and said, "Do y'all say a prayer or anything?"

I shot back at him, "that no, not usually." (If I may interject here... you have to understand... Your brain surgery is a very big deal to you... but to the folks in the OR... its nothing. Its changing the oil. They do it all day every day. In fact... DrWho may well have typed this post up while someone's skull was open in front of her. Or it may have been a heart... you never know. Things that you and I assume are dreadfully complicated and moderiately terrifying are almost boring to these people.)

I immediately felt ashamed. How could I deny this man a prayer? I had no idea about his religious background. This could have been his first time to ask for God's help. I also hate praying out loud; I am very self concious. I had a fleeting thought about being sued for talking about God in the OR, but I decided I had to pray for this man. I leaned down next to his ear and took his hand into mine and opened up my heart to this man and prayed for him like he was my own father.

His heart rate which had been high came down, and his blood pressure which had been dangerously low came up. In fact, it was the only time in the whole surgery that his blood pressure had a normal reading. He immediately closed his eyes and fell asleep. He finally looked at peace. He didn't say another word the rest of the procedure. I felt so proud that God had used me that way, and so ashamed that I almost missed that opportunity. I had on my anesthesia record physical proof with his vital signs of the power of prayer. It was amazing.

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