welcome to the east end

i haven’t written about work lately, it hasn’t been terribly exciting. the usual sad cases but no ER/Holby city stuff. the last two nights though i have been on the east end of the unit with the same 5 male patients. 4 awake and one unconcious. the awake ones display a wide variety of emotions….anxious, manipulative, demanding and confused….kind of like having 4 husbands

it brings to mind the reasons people drink

first and saddest is the young man with a complicated history including congenital (at birth)  imperforate anus, undescended testes and three nipples. one can only imagine the surgery and childhood this man has suffered. he now has a history of heavy alcohol intake and possible accidental/staggered acetaminophen overdose>liver failure. i have helped turn this man several times over the past few nights and am absolutely heartbroken at the state of his body. scarred, bruised and battered…by us…by medical professionals.

second and of distinct contrast is a former head of a secondary school, teacher of medieval history. lover of wine….apparently… as he has drank himself out of a marriage and successful career. he is articulate, manipulative and paranoid. most of us think it was a big mistake to transplant him, he will always rationalize his follow up treatment. he has traded in a supportive family for a hostel, not likely he will be compliant with the strict medication regime.

the others on the east side…

a man at her majesties service…a prisoner. heavy smoker with esophageal cancer, getting used to the big soft bed, warm blankets and cups of coffee on demand.

another man who was a heavy smoker, now with leukemia. very nice man, nice family….understandably anxious with a poor prognosis.

oh yeah and mr l…i wish i could say he has made great improvements…any improvements?multiple episodes of chest pain and pulmonary overload….. nah, he is still impossible to understand….took me at least 4 times to figure out he wanted “a glass of cold milk”

this is critical care at the QE


this is the MAIN entrance to the queen elizabeth hospital…i was absolutly shocked when i arrived via taxi for my interview…. i thought it was a delivery entrance.

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