Sunday, August 15, 2010


When you look on the tracking board and see that patient, you know you have to pep up your game a little. After all, this patient has been in your shoes before. In fact, he has been involved in the medical field longer than you've been alive. Every patient is treated with respect, but this patient is given a little extra oomph.

Normally a name means nothing to me. Tossing money around won't buy you respect. But this patient, this name, has done so much for the community. This patient has given his entire life for the bettering of the city and its people. His name is emblazoned on the giant wing of the hospital; his last act of giving to the city is to have given his entire mass of wealth so we could have this new wing and a brand new ER.

To see him sitting on the stretcher is a lesson in humility. Even the best of us have to fall at some point.

Dementia does not care if you gave everything for the good of others. Dementia robs you of your dignity, your humor, and your ability to remember the life you've lived. It leaves you a shell of a person. Dementia is not fun. It takes away everything and then some, until you can't even know that you are sitting in the very ER you gave to us.

I take care of all my patients with the respect they deserve. You deserve a little more.

1 comment:

Judy said...

I'm glad you have such good insight. As a health care social worker, with many years working for a hospice, I made it a point to look at every patient as a person who at one time worked, loved and was young. The sick person in that bed is a real person with a whole history of life experiences. Keep looking at your patients as real people and you will do great.