Day 35, the Rock…

35/46 of the daily Lenten blog…

Almost every day we have to ‘Admit’ someone to the hospital.  ‘Admit’ sounds like a privilege, right?  Like you’ve been accepted into a prestigious university or club.  I think it’s our way of hoodwinking patients into staying overnight.  The patient thinks “Oh, I’ve been approved to the medical ward?  I have been recognized as worthy to stay the night?!  Does this mean that I, too, can have an IV jabbed into my arm? I can be woken up every 2 hours as I try to sleep in a loud, bustling environment?  I’ve been authorized to wear an oxygen canula, with tubes up my nose that almost reach my brain?  Why, thank you, Doctor!  You are so kind, and smart, and witty, and handsome.  Hey, is there any way I can get an enema, as well?  Please sir, can I have another.

Usually an admission only lasts a day or 2.  Rarely, a person might be in the hospital for a week.  But if someone stays in the hospital for more than a week or two, we affectionately refer to them as a ‘rock.’  Meaning, they ain’t goin’ nowhere…  Obviously, no one wants to be a rock in the hospital.

One of my favorite rocks came in for a follow-up appointment yesterday.  After being in the hospital for not one week—not 1 month—but 2 MONTHS, I think everyone in the hospital came to know, and love, sweet one-and-a-half year-old Maggie (not her real name).  A team of us took care of her, and she stole all our hearts.  I think it was a contest to see who could get her to smile or play, each day.  Dr. Dave, Dr. Thomas, and I were all neck and neck, but then Dr. Isaac outclassed us all by giving her this:


Yep, a dolly.  Bam.  Mike drop.  Well played, Isaac (or was it Anne?)

As you might have guessed, she was pretty sick.  She almost died (several times).  We initially admitted her to the hospital with pneumonia and empyema (infection in the sac  between the lung and ribs).  This required that Dr. Dave put a tube in her chest to drain out the pus.  She eventually developed several other problems, not the least of which was a pneumothorax (collapsed lung).  She had a couple other interesting issues, including a bronchopulmonary fistulae, secondary nosocomial infection with pseudomonas, hypokalemia, and pneumatoceole (trust me, all those things are bad…).

It was only in the last week of her stay that we were blessed to see some of her adorable smiles.  It was then that we realized that she had dimples…


Above, picture of Maggie and her dimples, along with her mom and dad, Marge and Homer… (not their real names)

Slowly.  SLOWLY, she got better.  Countless hours were spent thinking, reading, debating, consulting, testing, adjusting, stressing, and praying over her care.  It was a labor of love by many.  Finally, It was a wonderful day when Dr. Isaac wrote the final order to UN-ADMIT her.

Some good news is that yesterday she certainly looked well.  However, the ongoing concern for her is that she might have a more sinister underlying diagnosis, which would be Cystic Fibrosis.  We all would appreciate your prayers for her, and her family.  Her parents were so dedicated to her survival and recovery.  Her mom never left her side, for 2 months straight.  And her father was there for much of that time as well.

Photos of the Day:

Photos of Maggie taken and shared with mom and dad’s consent.



Dr. Dave scores smile points



On the right, collapsed lung.  on the left, pneumatocele (ball o’ air).  Both not supposed to be there…


We’ll do this again tomorrow…


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