Thursday, 16 February 2017
I'm sick right now. I have the flu and it hit me hard. I woke up Tuesday morning feeling too awful to go to work and laid or lay, can never which one is correct, on the couch all day. I also had to cancel my flight and hotel because I was supposed to fly out to Vancouver yesterday to visit my daughter but I couldn't because I felt like shit.
I'm feeling like a decrepit old lady, wandering around my house in my housecoat. I still feel rotten, although not as bad as Tuesday. Yesterday morning I felt so awful that I phoned the big guy at work crying because my body felt so awful, pain everywhere, headache, fatigue, diarrhea, fever, fainted on the toilet.
I have been very lucky in my life to have never suffered any serious illnesses. I had pneumonia once when I was twelve years old, still the sickest I've ever been in my life. But I have spent a lifetime caring for people who are suffering with some horrible illnesses, some short term, some long term. How do my patients do it?
We have a patient right now who will die, there is no other option. She's around my age. She has been in the hospital for months now. She comes down for tests on almost a daily basis. She is miserable. Her partner lives a the hospital. Nothing will get better for her, until she dies. She is suffering. She has tubes everywhere. She can't eat. We drain fluid off her abdomen every few days. It's horrific really. Modern medicine has figured out how to extend life but not how to stop suffering.
I had difficulty suffering for two days. How do people go on knowing that every day will entail suffering, until they die?