Wednesday, January 6, 2010
A Few Thoughts from Dr. Chris
So I don't do this blog thing so much but I did see some interesting but very emotionally draining patients today so let me give this a go: After my first few patients today, I thought I was just going to have to quit! My first 6 patients took me an hour and 1/2. Mind you between the 3 docs, on average we are seeing 80 patients a piece per day. We tested many people who were HIV positive. *I saw a mother of 4 who had just 3 weeks ago lost her 4 month old son to some unknown illness and now was complaining of vaginal bleeding. She was obviously depressed, to say the least. She needed further testing, which I couldn't provide. I could do nothing medically for this patient, and I'm sure she probably won't be able to afford the testing. * I saw a 23 year old lady who had gone up country for a job, left her 2 year old son with the grandmother. When the mother came back, she found out that her 2 year old son had died from overwhelming sepsis. She was just married and had been trying to conceive again and had been trying for nearly 2 years. She begged me to help her. She wanted a child so desperately. Once again, she needed further testing. I could do nothing. * I saw a single mom with 2 young children with newly diagnosed HIV - just diagnosed today. She has no support. She has no husband. She has no money. When I told her the news, she looked at me as if I had given her a death sentence. And while there are programs available for her to receive treatment, I, personally, could do nothing. * I saw a mother who complained of multiple pelvic symptoms and had a child who had a fairly large lesion on his groin. After further questioning, she admitted that the family was being sexually and physically abused by her husband. I have a dispensary of Tylenol, a few antibiotics, steroid cream and a few other random medications, none of which can treat this. I could do nothing. And these were just within my first...6....patients. I wish I could say the rest of the 70-some patients were not so complicated, but many of them unfortunately had similar stories. I've gone to four years of undergraduate. I've gone to four years of medical school. And now I'm half way through my residency. There's nothing that prepares you for this. While I may say I could do nothing, I did do something. I prayed. I prayed like I've never prayed before. I prayed for a miracle. Miracles. While I don't know if any of these circumstances will change immediately, I do know that God has me here and brought them to me. I pray that even if their situations don't change, and even if I may never see them again, that they will find comfort in Christ alone and that we may experience eternity with Christ together. As you read this blurb in our blog, please pray with me.