I graduated from medical school 26 years ago. There were 36 hour shifts of on call duty, first as a 3rd and 4th year medical student and then as an intern and resident. I was dedicated. I was totally immersed in a parallel world- the medical world, oblivious to the reality outside the hallowed halls of my hospital. During rare undisturbed moments in the on call room I studied medical texts and current journal articles with inimitable intensity. Shoes were left on in anticipation of the beeper's call to put out the next unknown fire. Those were heady days. Much has happened since. And yet- much is the same. To date medicine has been a satisfying avocation- "Its more than a job," my father, The Physician, would frequently quip. As was usually the case, he was right. Some days, some moments are just better than others and leave an indelible mark. Today I had one those moments.
My ALS lady came back today. Call in motor neuron disease or Lyme imitating ALS, whichever pleases you. When I saw her a month ago for the first time, I cried as I previously posted. I thought the the horse was long out of the barn and that I was hopelessly trying to close the gate. It has never ceased to amaze me the extent to which patients can thwart our prognostications.
I walked into the room. Her head was held up high and she beamed at me brightly.
30 days of Rocephin. She WAS strong enough to hold her head up. She was able to eat and to swallow. She had gained some weight. Ever so slightly, she had begun to move her previously useless right hand.
Unbelievable- She's going to get better! I walked out of the room- with the slightest of tear- this time, a tear of joy. Yes- this was a good day.