It was now 7:30 a.m., and I tucked into the chair beside MacGyver’s bed. The door opened and in walked Doctor J., who looks like Craig Ferguson the host of the Late night talk show on CBS. — They say everyone has a twin somewhere.
We spoke openly about our concerns with Doctor J. Explaining how Mac and I were both feeling uneasy about the surgery. Frankly, we were concerned about, Dr. I, the surgeon. Not in his ability, but his lack of sleep. After all, he had been in emergence surgery most of the night. We were also frustrated by the general lack of information, and why we had been placed on the cancer wing was a nagging part of that fear. Why had the E.R. Doctor as well as the residents been so insistent on surgery being done quickly?
It’s all about the fear of the unknown. All patients and their families have some degree or fear. When something happens that brings you to the emergence room in the middle of the night, and you suddenly find yourselves checked into the City of Medicine and the Doctor on duty indicates emergence tactic it can be overwhelming.
Doctor J is our primary M.D., and he has taken care of all our medical needs for over ten years. When I approached him about taking on new patients he had started a clinic that was open 364 days of the year from nine to nine. It’s basically a mini-E.R. At the time, there were three physicians in this clinic and they also had small practices which allowed them to see regular patients while treating minor emergencies.
Years ago, I broke my finger, and I went to the clinic one evening. Dr. J had to cut off my wedding ring because of the swelling. From day one, I felt very confident and comfortable with him. Based on our medical histories he graciously agreed to take both of us. Mac and I were now in our forties, and at the time neither of us had any medical history to speak of. We had no primary Doctor. I’m sure he felt safe in that we were both were healthy and had no medical baggage to speak of.
Several years later, while Mac was working out of town and he got bit by a spider while clearing debris up from a storm at one of our State parks. We made a trip into see Dr. J one Sunday afternoon after weeks of treating this bite on our own. From there our visits to Dr.J increased after he diagnosed Mac with diabetes, high cholesterol and then they found the….. cancer. Well, so much for no medical history.
Dr. J was instrumental in catching the colon cancer quickly. Mac’s father had passed away from colon cancer and he insisted that Mac get a colonoscopy. After this diagnoses Dr. J assembled a wonderful team of Doctors which I refer to as, the Dream Team. We respect him and will forever be grateful for all he has done for us!
He sat down in the chair at the foot of Mac‘s bed, with that wonderful grin and simply said, “I think you will be losing that gallbladder very soon.” while he flipped through Mac’s chart.
Ok, guys so here is our plan.
Because of your pervious colon surgery and problems, the surgeon, Dr. I, is not sure that he will be able to remove the gallbladder using the scope method. There is a possibility that he will need to open you up, due to scar tissue. There are several stones that have seeped out and are now close to the opening of the colon. I will tell you, we are considered about this. Your labs are somewhat elevated. He is now contemplating doing surgery at 3:00 p.m. today, we are monitoring your liver function and blood counts. Right now things are stable. He might wait until early Tuesday morning, and go in before he goes out of town to perform the four colonoscopies. This will depend on the availability of the O.R.
Dr. I is a excellent surgeon, and things will go well. I’m sure of it! Oh, he has assured me he will get some rest, and be ready to tackle that nasty gallbladder of yours. Let’s get a second bag of antibiotics going, and let the gallbladder cool down, rest. We will do more blood work throughout the day to monitor everything. Nothing to eat or drink – he said with a grin -, and you know I’m only a phone call away. He padded Mac on the shoulder and gave me a hug.
Finally! A man with answerers, and a game plan.
MacGyver has been through a lot over the last six years, and we have been so very lucky to have medical staff that have always laid the cards on the table, gave us copies of reports, showed us X-rays, taken the time to explain, suggested and provided whatever we have needed to make the journey easier.
For all those who are working or going to school to become Doctor’s it’s very important that you talk to your patient and their family. Let, me say that again, talk to… Don’t talk at them. Explain what is happening or what might happen down the road. The biggest problem for any patient and their family is the fear of the unknown.