Another busy work week passes; only three days in clinic but it felt like five. This 80 percent time is a bit of misnomer. This work is full time when you throw in the extra hours put in at home on line and the every fourth weekend on call in the hospital. So far, my head is above water and ahead of the wave. The satisfaction/enjoyment outweighs the fatigue/frustration.
Last week I wrote about comments made to patients. This week I'm remembering what some patients said to me.
"I'm just glad to be alive."
"My husband is 90; he's still going to work. I thought when we got in our eighties we could relax and travel more. Plus, our two daughters live at home." (my jaw dropped).
"Doc, this one here is my baby, not my grand-baby (showing me a photograph); she's 18 months. She came along after my transplant." (grin). [this quote from an older man....]
"I have to apologize for missing my last few appointments and for being 45 minutes late today. Chalk it up to irresponsible behavior ever since I retired."
"Your right doc, I've been in some hell holes in my day, real hell holes; ya know what I mean?" [this quote from a veteran who served overseas...]
"I promise I'm not going to cry today. I brought her (a friend) along to keep me calm."
"Choices. Choices. I'll do whatever you suggest. You know best." (not so sure about that...)
"My goal is to weigh what I weighed before my transplant by the time I turn 60. Can you look back and see what I weighed right before my transplant?"
"My doctor sent me to see you because she said I had kidney failure. She was supposed to send you some records." (sigh)
And the award for the week?
"What can I do to increase my creatinine level?"
For the non-medical folks, the problem is a high creatinine level; a marker of kidney dysfunction and/or outright kidney failure. No one should ever, EVER want to increase it although I can tell you ways to do so. Fortunately this is a very easy question to answer. I love an easy question since most are gnarly and laden down with opinion, qualifiers, and best guesses.