Tuesday, July 22, 2008, 10:35 a.m., D.S.T. (can you believe that summer is half over??)~
Louie here. Am on break from work; go back in an hour; have time to record my thoughts/musings in here, so I am. Hope this finds y'all well, reasonably happy.
I am doing quite well, all things considering. Today is a slow day at work; have only one patient, a lady who had back surgery earlier this morning. She's resting comfortably in the Intensive Care; doctors want to make sure she recovers without incident from her surgery, so they are keeping close tabs on her.
She had a major back surgery: tumor removal. It was a big one, almost as large aas a grapefruit. Sent it off to the pathology lab; hope it's not cancer. If it is, we'll start the appropriate treatment for this woman; pray she makes it through okay.
Have been doing some late night reading; have been reading up on diseases that were once feared, but no longer plague our shores (thank goodness, although they do occur in other parts of the world, even today). Was reading a book by Laurie Halse Anderson entitled "Fever!", about the yellow fever outbreak of 1786 in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, as well as a book, about the Black Death, which decimated a lot of Europe during the Middle Ages.
Both made for compelling reading. I wonder what would happen if such an epidemic of either one of these two illnesses struck our country now? I know last year we had a little boy come in to our emergency room displaying the classic symptoms of diphtheria; it was cause for alarm. Thank God nobody else got the diphtheria, but it sure caused a lot of tense moments for our staff!!
The little boy, happily, survived; I'm not so sure about our nerves. Ever since then, when someone comes into our E.R. with symptoms of a communicable disease, we're on alert standby. We have to be in today's day; there's so many nasty bugs out there; you don't know WHAT is going to come into our E.R. doors until it happens.
I remember learning about yellow fever, diphtheria, and the Black Death in school, both in high school and in my medical training. I pray to God I will never encounter someone who has the plague or yellow fever; seeing the little boy with diphtheria was scary enough!! What would I do if one of my own loved ones (be it my husband or my children or my parents) come down with the symptoms of yellow fever, diphtheria, or (gulp!) bubonic or pneumonic plague??
What would I do then????
The thought is too terrifying, too scary to even think about!
Nowadays, we worry about AIDS, MRSA, necrotizing fasciitis, or salmonella poisoning, as well as E-Coli, all nasty bugs that can quickly kill if we don't remain vigilent. We don't worry so much about yellow fever, bubonic plague, or diphtheria nearly as much as we used to (we should, especially since we had that little boy come to our E.R. last year with diphtheria symptoms). What if someone came in to our E.R. with measles or (heaven forbid) smallpox??
Or even malaria or tetanus??
There's so many bad illnesses out there, and illnesses that we thought we had eradicated are coming back (measles, diphtheria, malaria, polio, the plague; just last month there was a lady who had come down with bubonic plague at another hospital; she died). Now the city is on edge; we wonder if anyone else will come down with it.
I pray and hope not!! What a disaster that would be!!
We had a bad flu season last winter; what's to say this winter's flu outbreak won't be even worse?? What if it is as bad as the flu of 1918 that killed so many people?? I don't think our country could handle it, if you want my honest opinion. Unless more vaccinations are made available, at a cost that ALL can afford, we're only sitting ducks when the next flu epidemic strikes!! It could prove to be devastating to our nation!!
Well, my belly is rumbling, even with all this flu, plague talk, so before it thinks that my throat's been cut, I'd best slake my hunger. I will write in here again soon; hopefully the day will continue to be slow. And hopefully my patient back in the ICU will continue to stabilize. Until later, this is Louie signing off. Take care, and may God bless you!
~Love, your friend, Louie May. :(