A Life Set to Music
My whole life has been set to music.
A couple weeks ago a patient came in, and “On Come Y’all be Faithful” started running through my brain as I watched her walked down the hall.
When I went in the exam room intuition was confirmed. In ten seconds I knew she was having a G.I. (gastrointestinal) bleed. She has a complicated medical history, and I went through the process to get the entire story, but the diagnosis was made right off the bat.
How? Legitimate question.
“Ms. Smith, the last time you had this bleeding was on Christmas Day wasn’t it? ”
“No, Tommy. It was Christmas Eve.”
“How long has that been? Ten years?”
“No, it was 1994.” (O.K. I was off a few years.)
“Does it seem the same?”
“Yes sir, I’m afraid so.”
One thing I have learned. If a patient says they have the exact same thing they had before, you better pay attention. They are right until proved otherwise.
And she was correct. It was indeed a G.I. bleed just like in 1994. In six hours she was getting shocky, but she was in an I.C.U. bed so it was no sweat. Today she is back home.
Now I’ll have to fight with her insurance company to get her P.P.I. medication; they will resist you every time, ’cause it is expensive. (Cuts into those multi-million dollar bonuses.) Oh well, I know how to do that too.
I don’t remember for sure but I’d bet “Oh Come, Y’all be Faithful” was playing at the house that night she showed up in the E.R way back then. We might have been working it up for church for all I know. So, when she came to the office last week, my gut said the diagnosis was a G.I. bleed when she walked in the door. The reason I had the intuition was ’cause my whole life has been set to music. It is one reason I have been so lucky.
I don’t know what song will play today, but there is a good chance I’ve heard it before. And given I love both my music and my patients, I’ll bet I ain’t forgotten the tune, either.