Third, fourth, tenth, twentieth. How many "chances" does someone get?
A long time ago I wrote of a hypothetical situation wherein a person presents to the ER for care because they were feeling suicidal. (That was back on August 19th, for anyone who wants to relive those good times)
Tonight we got slammed in the ED. 4 ambulance runs in less than an hour, of which I took two.
When faced with the reality of a hypothetical situation, it turns out that we all just do our jobs and save the guy's life.
Story deleted thanks to the HIPAA police. I leave the rest of the blog as is, because nothing in the following lines could identify the patient as anything but male, and someone I detested.
Riding home from a transfer like this, one might be pondering the extreme lack of compassion felt for another human being. How could I, for example, feel nothing for the suffering of another person? Am I less of a person for not really wanting to engage a patient like that in conversation?
I'm 100% positive that I would be very professional in my care for such a patient. But the extra oomph I try to give my patients just might not be there. And it turns out, I would judge myself pretty harshly for such behavior.
I would judge myself harshly, because my initial reaction to a patient like that is to say "Well buddy. Better luck next time." or "Say, did you hear we had a fatality from a person falling off a local cliff? There's something to think about, huh." I judge myself harshly because somewhere deep, deep down, I want there to be a way to fix people like that. Make them whole again. Make them good, decent people with lots to live for, and I know I can't do it, and probably nobody can. I judge myself harshly because I will not feel bad should a patient such as that die.
Yet at the same time, though I know I should not, I judge that patient harshly for continuing to believe that he is the victim. For not understanding why his wife and kids won't just forgive and forget, and support him through his tough times. For not having the cajones to take responsibility for his actions, and face up to the consequences.
But like I've said before. I hate haters, and so am filled with self-loathing. Sometimes I think this job is just turning me old too fast. Ugh.