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I am the ICU screener. This normally means evaluating patients for… - Luke White [entries|archive|friends|userinfo]
Luke White

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[Apr. 29th, 2010|11:10 pm]
Luke White
I am the ICU screener. This normally means evaluating patients for whether they need the intensive care unit or are stable for the regular floor. For me it becomes a license to roam the hospital trying to fix everything I can.

I wake up around 8 AM and I drink six shots of espresso. Sometimes I buy two donuts from the street cart.

Usually something happens within the first hours of work. I often drink the coffee cold and the donuts stale. The caffeine and adrenaline send me across the hospital, floor by floor, placing IV lines, talking with patients, visiting the people I took care of for five or ten minutes yesterday and talking about things that are Not Hospital, or talking about things that are hospital and getting them water or mouthwash or an outside line to their son or daughter.

I come home and eat food that is not good for me very late; tonight I'm still waiting for it. Lately I've been taking big doses of B6 and melatonin--I read that they make dreams more vivid, and last night I just remember talking with an Irish girl and we agreed that we loved living in England because it was an island surrounded by angry seas.

I left late tonight; what was to be a quick IV line placement on an intern's patient became the realization that the patient was hours from death, her son unaware. We talked and after the talk I stopped all unnecessary medications, gave her a small amount of morphine and her labored breathing eased, then stopped. I wrote my note and now I'm at home and nine hours from now I'll be back at the hospital.

I've got absolutely no ambition beyond being able to continue what I'm doing now.

[User Picture]From: canonjohn
2010-04-30 01:30 pm (UTC)
You have awesome responsibilities -
I can't imagine having to deal with life and death
issues and they inspire in me a reverent fear.
God keep you in your vocation.
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[User Picture]From: kesil
2010-05-01 02:49 am (UTC)
I think maybe we have a surplus of we're saturated with as the extra spills over and we catch the crumbs? Bankers have a lot of money, bartenders drink a lot, priests have grace and I'm still trying to figure out exactly what physicians have. But I'm counting on those in professions of grace to keep me in their prayers--thank you.
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[User Picture]From: kitsunepixiemd
2010-05-01 04:06 pm (UTC)
You love being a doctor. :) 3rd and 4th year were two of the happiest periods of my life; I can only hope that this passion continues.

"I wake up around 8 AM"

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[User Picture]From: saralinda
2010-05-01 06:03 pm (UTC)
always good to see an update from you and to see this through your eyes
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[User Picture]From: kesil
2010-05-10 07:50 pm (UTC)
I'll try to make the updates more frequent!
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[User Picture]From: plumerai
2010-05-03 10:24 pm (UTC)
Utterly random drop-by to say that:

A) I was thinking of you yesterday for no particular reason, while on a run, and wanted to wish you well.
B) If you're experimenting with supplements and dreams, I recommend "mag loading," i.e. magnesium. I took 2,000 mg over seven hours and had dreams that weren't vivid so much as flipbook-style--a sort of all-night series of hypnogogic hallucinations, with no coherent narrative stringing them together. With your background, I don't need to tell you of the, ahem, digestive effects, though note that my mag-loading partner had no problems.

Sweet dreams, Luke.
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[User Picture]From: kesil
2010-05-10 07:51 pm (UTC)
With my background, I have ready access to the IV stuff, which has not nearly so many digestive effects!

Though I give 2 or 3 grams of magnesium fast all the time...I'll have to start asking my patients how their dreams end up being.
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