Sunday, August 07, 2005

Life, Blood, Faith

The past week has been a busy one for me which would explain for my nonsense posts. last sunday, kero and i headed for Batangas to moonlight for three straight days at a newly opened hospital.
On our third night came in a 37M patient with severe anemia recorded at 66 (normal value at 140s), leukemia suspect, BP of 125/30, pulse rate of 128 and a temp of 38.5C. Patient was very pale and weak. when asked why no blood transfusion was done, the brother informed us that they were of the Jehova's Witnesses group. So what did they expect me to do? A man lacking red blood cells should be given...red blood cells?! but these people weren't going to compromise despite my explanations. So i suggested we just support the patient and make him comfortable short of saying, i'll let him die comfortably. And they agreed.
The patients wife, with tears in her eyes even joked to the patient about giving him blood transfusion, to which the patient replied with a smile and a shake of the head. He would stand by his faith and die without receiving any blood. Later that night his heart started to fail and his BP was dropping which prompted us to start him on dopamine drip. i guess that's as supportive as we can get. Later on they asked to be transferred to St. Lukes for further "supportive treatment" so we had them conducted by the town ambulance.
Before going to bed that night, i was thinking of what i made out of the situation. I felt an admiration for the man who kept strong in his faith, and with the choice of life or death, he chose the latter without compromising. The doctor in me, on the other hand, felt frustration. A life that could have been prolonged, or saved even, was let to die. But then again, maybe he did not need to be saved, maybe he already was. And in the life beyond, his faithfulness rewarded.

3 Comments:

Anonymous abi said...

people like him are admirable (and enviable, i admit) because they have such amazing faith... sana ako rin. *sigh*

anyway, i liked the picture of the RBCs so dinownload ko po ha. tnx!!!

11:31 AM  
Blogger chumsychums said...

nakakalungkot naman..

5:15 PM  
Anonymous van said...

the old man is admirable.

5:30 PM  

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