Now that a decision has been made that I will be admitted to ICU (though not as an ICU patient) another set of complex negotiations started. My nurse called ICU nurse who immediately informed her that they don’t have a bed. This led to higher level negotiations between ER nursing director, hospital supervisor and ICU director to figure out where to put someone who is “running around naked, trying to hump petunias”.
Finally I arrive in ICU after making a stop in CT scan where they scanned my head, chest, abdomen, pelvis and god knows what else, to find out “stuff”. Here a whole new set of people are going to take care of me. I am again connected to new tubes and wires.
They have some questions for me. “If your heart stops, do you want us to try to restart it by shocking it and thumping it. Would you want us to put a tube in your throat if you can’t breathe? Is it ok to feed you through a tube placed in your nose or abdomen. Would you want us to do things like mouth to mouth breathing”?
Finally a doctor called “Hospitalist” comes in because I am a “non-teaching” patient. He talks very passionately about the possibilities of various common and rare diseases that I might have. He summarized test results:
Your white cell count is normal which is “abnormal” in this situation. We will investigate further.
Your Hemoglobin is low. We will investigate further.
Your kidney numbers are abnormal. We will investigate further.
You have gallstones and surprisingly a gallbladder. We will investigate further.
You have “spots” on your lungs. You also have a prostate size of a melon. We will obviously investigate further.
Your heart enzymes are also abnormal. We will investigate further.
Now I need investigations to investigate abnormal investigation results.
We have assembled a team of experts to help you.
We will have a Cardiologist to look at your heart. We will have a Nephrologist for your kidneys. We will have a Pulmonologist for spots on your lungs. We will have an Urologist for that melon of a prostate. We will have a Neurologist for your fall and dementia. We will have a Psychiatrist because you were running naked and trying to hump petunias. We will also throw in a Gastroenterologist and a Surgeon for your gallstones. We will have a Hematologist for your normal “abnormal” white cells and hemoglobin.
We will also get a Physical therapist and Occupational therapist. I will get a speech and swallow pathologist. I will get a wound care specialist because eventually everyone gets pressure ulcer. So why wait, let’s start now.
“Is there any kind of doctor that I am not going to see”? Consider yourself lucky, you are a man. Otherwise we also have Gynecologists.
I again feel the full might of world’s most complicated, expensive and advanced medical system. I am very sure that nothing bad will happen to me with this dedicated team of experts. I am sure not a single organ will be left unexplored till they find “stuff”.