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28 June 2009

Another Month Did and Done

Well, it's Sunday. Officially, the last day of the module, and the last day of the medical year. Tomorrow morning I start as a senior resident in the Emergency Department. Fifteen more months and I will be done. I am going to put a counter on the sideline to count down the days.

After the excitement and interesting tales from this last rotation and the two months of Orthopedics before this, my husband was telling me that I was going back to the usual "boring stuff." I reminded him that I would be doing this "boring stuff" for the rest of my career; unless, of course, he lets me return to surgery and be a resident for another three years. By the groans and threats of moving to live in an RV on a beach in Florida I take it he is about ready for this to be over too.

My last case at the ME's office on Friday was a sad tale of a massive thunderstorm and downpour, a car out of control and hitting the curb at about 75 mph, jumping the curb and over a about a 3 foot wall and slamming into a church. The driver had major trauma to his head and lower legs. His passenger died.

Again, while I can't discuss the specific findings, I can say that this was the most trauma I had ever seen on one person. That the driver survived at all is incredible. I was in amazement throughout the entire post-mortem exam. I couldn't even begin to think of what I would do had this patient come into the emergency department. Where to even start. But, this is one of the reasons I did this rotation. To make you think about the traumas. To make you understand more fully the traumas. And, to realize that there are some things that can't be fixed.

What I'll be missing tomorrow: a second child has died of the H1N1 flu virus. We had been following her condition very closely throughout the last week. And, a victim of a train accident has died. I heard the radio call out when he was first injured and was amazed that he survived to make it to ECMC. I heard about his progress in the ICU. They will probably be posted tomorrow. With tongue in cheek, this just goes to show that even at the ME's office, life goes on.


a corgi said...

what an interesting month you have have, Veronica; I'm sure it does give you a different perspective about what the human body can and cannot sustain as far as injury; I bet all will be glad when you wind up your training at the end of the next 15 months


Julie said...

What the body can go through and live is so amazing to me. We had a man get caught in a grinder, His lower half of his torso was chewed off. He lived and is still alive. No one expected it with the damage and huge amount of skin loss not to mention bladder damage and bowel. Then you hear about a actress dying of a bump to the head. Life... and death, amazing.

Claudia's thoughts said...

Don't post the countdown, it will make it seem longer. But I am mentally counting down the days till my daughter graduates from Nursing School....that will be June 2010.

So far she liked OR, ER and Psych (what???) That is because no one from Psych whacked her yet.

Jeanie said...

The months will fly by Veronica. That's one sure fact of life.
My daughter and I were just saying in amazement the other day that two years have already gone by since she began Uni' to become a teacher. Now she only has one more year before graduating. It seemed insurmountable to her in the beginning , as I'm sure you felt too.
Your job takes nerves of steel to be confronted by such trauma and still keep your wits and head about you and give your patients a fighting chance. Thank God there are people like you who are there at those times.
You must sometimes live on adrenalin.
Jeanie xxxx