|She would have given her all to jump in with me, but no such luck. A quick smart ambulance ride to the nearest hospital is what you will get if you stumble into a GPs surgery with a chest cough, a sallow complexion, temperature at 38.x and blood pressure at 74/41. |
Pneumonia was offiicial when the xrays came back a couple of hours later, rampant in right lung, white spots in the left.
I am now into the 5th day of a 6 hourly IV slurrie, which takes 40 minutes to go in, and sets me asleep for the next 2 hours. At some stage during this blessed cycle, my temperature starts to push up to the high 38s, they take bloods to try to identify the bug that is eluding the dragnet, adjust the slurrie, and off we go again. The xrays get taken again tomorrow to determine any progress.
But, all that was by way of introduction, what I really wanted to share with you was an activity I was asked to be involved with at the hospital. A physician is a doctor who is on his/her way (let's settle on 'her' in the current climate) to being a specialist. Very few are much below 30 years of age, many with young families. To be recognised as a 'physician' (not the American Physician which is equivalent to the Australian 'General Practitioner'), they have to undergo rigorous assessment by their peers, and both written and practical exams set by their governing professional body.
Yesterday, I got to play 'patient' for 4 pairs of candidates. I was one of four such patients. They had 7 minutes to examine me clinically, and then 8 minutes to expain their findings to the 'examiner'. This was NOT the real deal, this was a rehearsal.
When they entered the clinic, they were told my name, and that I was a patient who encountered difficulty walking. I was allowed to do what they asked , but I was not allowed to speak (how hard was that!!) One candidate was spot on with his diagnosis, another was just a little way off, but the other two need to look to their technique a bit more. Except for the first candidate, they were each incredibly nervous, which astounded me. Needless to say, being involved in something as 'useful' as that was immensely exciting and fulfilling.
Except that when I got wheel chaired back to the Ward my blood pressure was at 159, and I slept for the next 4 hours.