August 12th, 2004

White Coat

Mixed emotions.

I spend so much time in this journal talking about my triumphs, O Best Beloved, I must devote time to my failures as well. It would be easy to talk about the good things that happened today: in Resident Jeopardy, the 80-point question (category: "I should've read more about other things") was "Renoir was a painter from this school of art:" Nobody in the room but me knew the answer. Everyone was impressed. I sat down and wrote a letter to J. Planer, who taught my undergraduate Experiencing the Arts course. He was pleased to hear it. I got all my notes but one done before noon conference, even the one I didn't expect to write.

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I wrote the orders for the PICC line and I explained to the nurses that given the choice between the possibility of him using his IV for nefarious purposes and the probability that without adequate antibiotic therapy he would lose his leg, if not his life, we chose averting the probability. He told me today that he has spent the last week listening to his family tell him that we would kick him out of the hospital for inability to pay his bills. Social work has worked out home infusion with a company who will absorb the cost - "Duration of therapy?" 4-6 weeks. "Ouch." - and we are ready for discharge as soon as the line is usable. And I had a long talk with him and his girlfriend. I have been assured, although I am not reassured, that he is turning his life around thanks to her influence. I hope it is true. I still want to believe in people.

Two errors today, O Best Beloved, and important ones that were happily caught. I will be more careful. But the resolution to learn from my mistakes rather than allow myself to be bowed and bent down by them is a difficult one.
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