I am doing a surgical ICU rotation this month in a last ditch attempt to learn something useful before I get thrown to the dogs in July. The SICU is an interesting place. You wouldn’t believe the ridiculous things that go on here. We had one patient who was getting continuous Vancomycin infusion into his mediastinum- liters a day. Vanc into irrigation tubes, vanc out chest tubes. Continuously. Like, what??? How baller is that? (The cynic says: “He must have good insurance.”)
The first week I was there, one of my patients died and one of my patients unexpectedly got better and moved out of the unit. It’s remarkable what the human body can recover from. And then of course, some will hold on for days, giving you hope one day because they’re doing well, and then you come in after the weekend and they’ve dropped off the list. In the wrong direction.
You know, it was the first time one of my patients died. I was a little bummed out. I thought he’d make it. But that’s it. I never knew the guy. When I met him, he had already been unconscious and connected to machines for days. I guess, sad to say, he was never a “person” to me, just a disease process- a case. The only thing I ever knew about him was a shitton of numbers. It’s sort of cold, but that’s just the way it is.