Christmas Day. It was my second hospital today with the second emergent admission for the second patient who skipped dialysis this week. Patient #1 was short of breath, chest pain. Patient #2's potassium is 7.9 and he has EKG changes.
Big fat duh to both.
As I am not a Christian, it wasn't my holiday and I don't actually mind working it. I do every year. Almost everybody is grumpy today because most people want this day off. (Kudos to my nephrologist for his grace under THREE attempts to go home only to have callbacks to the ER for the same exact stuff.)
Christians believe they are rewarded for taking care of people who refuse to take care of themselves. That reward is in heaven. I'm not going to heaven. Sounds nice and all, but I'm a lazy buddhist. My reward is ...breathing now. And typically, a paycheck. Nice and fine, but you can't take it with you and it's spent by mid-month on bills, anyway.
The point is that taking care of people who expect me to clean up after them is exhausting. I'm struggling today with finding my buddha-heart of compassion.
I am struggling not to say DUH! at the top of my lungs. I am biting my tongue from saying What Did You Think Was Going To Happen, Exactly? I am struggling with, If You Were Trying To Die Over Christmas (And You Might Have Been), You Don't Go To The ER When The Symptoms Start....You Sleep Through It.
I didn't get that guy who developed diabetes at age 3 today, or who was born with congenital polycystic kidneys. I got fat bastards who wanted to drink and eat and be merry all week and held off on following their physicians' advice until after Christmas dinner was over....and THEN made it my (and said graceful nephrologist's) job to fix them.
ESRD patients are all Medicare, did you know that? You and I pay for every last one of my patients. Some days I wish they would meet us half way.