Saturday, December 03, 2011
Yesterday while running errands, I felt as if my heart were steeped in compassion. I had this weird sense about me and that's the best descriptor I could come up with. I was thinking of a patient who was going in yesterday morning for bypass and valve replacement surgery; a friend who's father had fallen, broken his femur and was in the ICU--she was driving up to be with him and was going to have to deal with her rather dysfunctional family; a patient who'd been "circling the drain" so to speak and was now out of the ICU and slowly making progress; a friend who's closing her quilt store unless someone will buy it from her; the amazing variety of fresh produce and fish, teas from all over, noodles, grains, snacks, you name it at the Buford Highway Farmers Market, along with a lot of folks from all sorts of different cultures and countries from around the world. I feel so very fortunate for what I have, those around me, and the experiences I've had throughout the years.
Someone asked me today if I ever took home with me and frustrations or ethical dilemmas from working with nephrologists and dialysis patients. Starting patients on dialysis when they're in their 80's, suffering from dementia, comatose; seeing the same patients come in the hospital over and over for lack of compliance/adherence to their treatment plan, etc. I told her I don't... It's not for me to choose who gets dialysis and who doesn't, who continues and who should stop....that's up to the person, their family, and their physician. For those who are "frequent flyers"...not with them either. There's usually more to the story...what's their support network like, are the habits such an ingrained part of their culture there's no separating from them, can they afford their medications, are there mental health issues as well--the list could go on and on. Considering that lifestyle choices play a large part in chronic diseases and the overall focus on being reactive/curative rather than preventative, it's no wonder our health is in the mess it's in (this is just my observation/thoughts/perceptio
n of the healthcare system in the US where I've lived all but 3 months of my life). There are also some patients here illegally who aren't able to go to a regular clinic who come to the ER when they get too sick and need to be admitted because their blood pressure or potassium level's sky high. We all have one thing in common--we're all human beings wanting to be treated with dignity and respect, looking for happiness, and living our lives the best that we can under the circumstances.
I'm just so very grateful for where I'm at today, the folks I encounter, and the experiences and genes that have made me who I am. Okagesamade.