Saturday, February 19, 2011

On Medicine, or, News from (too close to) home, or, The Circle of Life?

Sandwiched between REL (90) and JRB (75) on the obituary page is Mr. Patient (29 - MP). His youthful face smiling clearly stands out on this page. Young and handsome, his picture forms a sharp foil to the older, more dated and worn faces he is now surrounded by. MP was a patient I took care of after his twenty-day ICU stay. He was a patient that I discharged home on hospital day #42. He was a patient that I had managed through home nurses for weeks, trying to get him to come in to the clinic. And then, through a PICC line that I had ordered placed – and with medicines I prescribed – he killed himself. And now all that remains is a half-dozen paragraphs glossing over his life.

He was only a few months older than I am.


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