* names and some details of clinical cases changed to protect privacy
A Crisis of Identity
The number leapt out at me. One hundred and three!
An incandescent flash of comprehension flooded my brain.
It was fourteen years ago. I was standing beside the trauma bay bed, holding one of Jack’s tiny clenched fists in my hand as I gazed at his contorted face, his tongue thrusting rhythmically and his eyes rolled insistently upward.
His spasming body was submerged in a beehive of activity. Medical personnel supplied critically needed oxygen, readied resuscitation equipment, and delivered intravenous medications and fluids.
Paramedics had crashed through the doors ten minutes earlier, wheeling Jack on a stretcher. It had been a sleepy Monday morning in the ED to that point, the mundane chit-chat of nursing staff disturbed only by the raspy breathing and occasional seal-bark cough of a young boy with croup. After dosing the young lad with dexamethasone and settling a misty mask of epinephrine over his face to ease his breathing, I sat in the doctors’ cubicle with my resident, killing time by quizzing her on the case we had just seen. Read the rest of this entry »