I must tell about this man I met at work today.
A nice, well-built man in his early 50s walked into the Emergency room and sat up on the bed.
The nurse told him to change to the hospital gown and lie down. The doctor will come and see him soon.
Well, I didn't see him so soon.
I had to sort out some very sick patients first.
By the time I came to him, he looked very irritated and annoyed.
"Just give me some strong pain killer for my splitting headache and I'll go home and have my tea. I don't want to waste my time waiting here."...he growled at me.
I apologised to him.
(Imagine the irony of my situation here
...apologise to him for what??? For wasting my time and the hospital's time!?)
Well, I kept my professional manners intact and asked him what the problem was.
He came with a letter sent by his family doctor. He had acute sinusitis with worsening headache, which did not improve with pain killers and antibiotics. His family doctor was concerned he may have a more serious problem and had requested me to do a CT brain for him.
So I arranged for him to have a CT brain and gave him a strong pain killer.
I examined him and apart from his sinusitis and the headache it causes...I couldn't find anything wrong with him. I told him once he got the scan done, he could go home to his wife and follow up with his family doctor.
By this time, the pain killer kicked in and he was feeling better.
He looked less annoyed and he gave me a big smile...he had a lovely smile. He apologised for his abrupt behaviour too.
While he got his scan done, I continued to see other patients.
Half an hour later, I saw his CT images and report.
It was written in bold letters: "small meningioma seen in right parietal region. chronic sinusitis present in left ethmoid bone."
I discussed with my boss and the neurosurgeon.
I came back to him. He was smiling like a 1000 watt bulb.
"Hey, look at me...my headache is gone now and I feel great!! Thanks for all your help. I'll go home now and have my tea."
I said, "Hold on...before you go home, I need to talk about your scan report.
I have some good news and some bad news."
His beautiful smile disappeared and he became apprehensive.
He composed himself bravely and said "Give me the bad news first."
"You have a small brain tumour inside your head" I told him.
He stared at me...as if I just cracked the worst joke. Except I wasn't joking.
I could tell he was shocked.
Then I gave him the good news..."The good news is it's only 9 mm!!"
I said those words so cheerfully, he looked at me in horror...
"How the hell is that suppose to make me feel better...you just brought back my headache again!!"
By this time, I broke into laughter. "The secretary actually made a typing error on the scan report. She wrote the tumour size as 90mm, instead of 9 mm. 90 mm is 9 cm...you would be in very critical condition if you had a 9 cm tumour inside ur head, you know!!"
He laughed with me. "Oh, 9 mm is not so bad as 9 cm...I didn't think of it that way..."
Actually, he laughed with tears in his eyes...happy tears.
I reassured him he was not in any danger, it was only an incidental finding, and to follow up with his family doctor and the neurosurgeon. He thanked me and left the hospital.
It is amazing to see how people walk into the hospital with such a strange attitude...that they have everything under control...only to be humbled that they can actually leave the hospital alive without losing their life!!
One numerical digit on one scan report can literally turn one's life upside down.
Have gratitude for what you have in your life - it is priceless compared to what you wish for.
Advanced wishes for a wonderful Diwali!!
Edited by spain - 30 October 2013 at 8:49am