Looking at the list this morning, I was surprised to discover my gastroenteritis patient on the list. I thought for sure we’d decided to send her home; I’d filled out her discharge summary on that assumption. Come to find out, the parents took her home and fed her eggs, bacon, and hash browns, with other things, so that she was throwing up every other hour till they brought her back around midnight. (And they have three other children! How do they manage it?) Of course, once under the eagle eyes of the nurses, she has been well and asymptomatic. Plan for the day: feed her very slowly, and don’t let her go home till tomorrow, when we’re sure she’s completely recovered. “Failed outpatient therapy,” as we say.

On the other hand, we could hypothesize that the child is determined not to go until I’ve caught her rotavirus. I’ve been washing my hands almost obsessively since meeting her. One of the other students is out sick since last Friday (which is beginning to induce a tiny undercurrent of skepticism on everybody’s part, especially the interns, that he didn’t manage to recover at least over the weekend; but, he must be very sick indeed otherwise, so we will be charitable; he’s usually responsible). Which affords me the nice opportunity to alleviate my call schedule. Somehow, while concentrating on getting the Orthodox Easter weekend off, I didn’t manage to speak up very clearly on other matters, and got myself on call both Thursday and Saturday this week. With class Friday afternoon, so no time to recover; I had been making myself almost sick with anticipation of these three days. But with the encouragement of one of the interns, who was very kindly shocked at my schedule, I traded things around, and am now on call today instead of the sick student, and then Friday. Which means I’ll even be able to go to the Orthodox Palm Sunday, which I’d given up hope of. Also – don’t tell the interns – I accidentally didn’t get on call at all next week, which means I will have only myself to blame if I don’t go to the Holy Week evening services. So life is looking up; I have a textbook, a research assignment, and Dorothy Sayers’ Clouds of Witnesses to occupy myself for the rest of the day and night.

Advertisements