Monday, November 28, 2011
Doctor as Patient
So, there's been a lot of gastroenteritis (stomach flu, food poisoning, etc) going around, and last night I fell victim to it. It got so bad I had to leave in the middle of my shift to go home since I wasn't doing much patient care running to the bathroom every 5 minutes. As I arrived home, I started going through the usual tips I send home with patients...
- small frequent sips of clear fluids
- lots and lots of fluids
- BRAT (bananas, rice, applesauce, and toast) when keeping down clears
- return to E.D. if vomiting does not stop
It's that last one that almost got to me. I wondered at what point during the 4th episode of dry-heaving I would return to the E.D. as a patient. I rated my abdominal pain (4 - 5 out of ten at it's worse), thought about the fact I couldn't keep water down, and wondered how I would make it through the night. I started thinking about my patients; at what point is it too much to handle alone. For some, it's about an hour into it. Others go for days. Me, I toughed it out throughout the day sipping on broth and Gatorade and finally got to the banana... nothing ever tasted so good.