There are many things that happen during your day as a busy hospital physician. You are often called into action when a patient appears to be failing quickly. In one such incident, I later received an unusal gift.
Patient in distress.
An elderly woman abruptly had decreasing blood pressure, she was breathing fine, her heart rate was fine although slightly elevated. She could hear as well as answer questions slowly but correctly. She was scared because she didn't feel well and she was having difficulty seeing. I called the nurses into action and began fluid resusitation with intravenous fluids at a fast infusion rate. In order to calm the patient and also reassure myself, I kept talking to her to monitor how she was doing. She stared directly into my eyes with her scared expression.
She kept saying she could see my eyes which she thought were so blue. She kept repeating that if she could see my eyes she knew she would OK.
Stable and back to usual.
Eventually she was stablized and went back to resting comfortably in bed as I went back to my busy day. A couple days later, she had left a gift at the nurses station for me - a Thank You card with a sincere hand-written note and a package of Life Savers candy ... she thanked me for being her "life saver". How thoughtful and kind. Sometimes the smallest gifts mean a lot. It still brings me a smile.
Living well is remembering those special moments.