Saturday, March 8, 2008

How do you know a teenager is well?

My pager goes off all the time. Usually, it’s an annoyance, interrupting something I’m doing (talking with a patient, driving to work…) for something that may not be as urgent. (“Do you want to admit the patient on Wednesday or next Friday?”)

But sometimes the pager tells me something good.

Last week, one of my patients had a catastrophic experience – a 28-minute seizure that was the first sign of a previously-undetected metastasis to her brain. We admitted her to the ICU and arranged for surgery the next day. Unfortunately, that day I had a previously-booked flight to an osteosarcoma conference in Houston. So I asked a colleague to page me when the surgery was done.

I landed in Houston, turned on my pager, and moments later received this message, “M [the patient] out of OR, extubated, texting her friends.”

She’s a teenager. She’s texting her friends, so she must be doing well!


rlbates said...

Dr. David, what a nice message to receive. Will you submit this to surgeXperiences?

Doctor David said...

I'd be honored to!