Monday, 12 October 2009

Gavin: Locums motives

After Zoe left last night and posted below, the scare levels went up. The Locum doctor looking after Sonny explained that his lung capacity wasn't acceptable, either caused by the puncture wound or from a new complication where the tumor had created nerve damage meaning his diaphragm had risen up a few inches into his chest. Alongside this, the cancer was fighting back. By releasing cells that create microscopic holes in the veins, fluid is released into the surrounding tissues rather than flushing the disease out. He finished with: 'this boy is on very thin ice'. And he delivered that in front of Sonny.

It was a tough night to say the least. Every bong of a dipping heart monitor and every laboured breath from him meant I pushed the call button. I had no idea how this trio of problems would manifest themselves and, despite begging his pulse rate to come down for the last fortnight, if it now dropped below 70 I shat myself.

This morning our consultants talked us down. A further x-ray showed the diaphragm had returned to it's rightful place (an unfortunate blip that happened just when the x-ray was taken hopefully) the fluid retention had been sorted with a shot of albumin and the lung capacity had always been fairly low considering he has two golf ball sized lumps pushing into them. The Locums frankness was raised at ward round by our nurse (god love her) and we were given an apology from the team. This evening when I'd left to get Ruby, Zoe asked our main super-consultant where this weekend ranked in terms of our league table of scares. "Moderate" was his reply.

We're both much happier. Sonny continues to improve in our uninformed eyes and there's no mistaking that his blood pressure, pulse and temperatures are so much better. We cannot see what's going on inside his body but we can read a heart monitor and watch him play on the mac.

What all this really goes to show is that whatever information we’re given and how that makes us feel, those feelings have no actual bearing on Sonny and his situation. And, although the locum was definitely too blunt (especially in front of Sonny) he was simply calling it as he saw it.

My levels of pragmatism are at their highest. If anyone wants me to resolve a domestic dispute now is a good time to ask.

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