Monday, August 3, 2015

On The Internet

Of course there are patient archetypes.  We all use them.  I mean, there is the old lady that is super sensitive to even the smallest dose of just about every medicine.  The psychiatric patient whose allergy list runs a mile long.  The drug seeking guy that swears his pills were stolen from his suitcase yet again.

My favorite is the widowed war hero.  His unrequited love for his deceased spouse pervades most visits.  He writes poetry and can carry a note to operatic proportions.  He is kind and humble.  He lives lost in a world of dreams and sweet memories.  He is both jovial and melancholy at the same time.

I have known many of these.  Taken care of them.  Watched them die.  They do so with a grace and determination which is nothing less than dignified.  They take their last breaths with a certainty and peace that I can't help but admire.  Maybe they know that they are one last gasp away from their lover's arms.

And I often contemplate whether they are right.

Perhaps we physicians also have our archetypes.  The arrogant and the too busy to be bothered.  The hand-holder.  The incompetent and the God-complex.  The automaton.

Then there's me.  I have seen myself in almost every archetype, good and bad.   And as with our patients,  these are poor constructs.  Because even though our most glaring attributes fit well into cubby holes, the reality is that human beings are so much more sloppy.

I am.

Maybe a bit introspective.

Over-contemplative.

The kind of guy who writes about being a doctor to no one in particular.

On the Internet.  

4 comments:

Anonymous said...

Better a normal person like you than some egos I've had to deal with. Oy ... I've met some great docs and I've met some ones that need major prayer.

Lauren Hill said...

Dr Grumet. You are the best doctor I have ever known (I'm a nurse and know a lot of doctors.) You were not afraid to treat my pain and you never judged me. I now have two and a half years clean off heroin and all pain medication. Thank you for being there for me during the darkest days of my life. I am forever grateful and think of you often. THank you for everything and for saving my life.

Lauren Hill said...

Dr Grumet. You are the best doctor I have ever known. You were not afraid to treat my severe pain and you never judged me. I now have 2 and a half years off heroin and all pain medications. Thank you for being there for me during the darkest days of my life. I am forever grateful and think of you often. Thank you for saving my life and giving me a life worth living today.

Anonymous said...

If Lauren's comment doesn't let you know of your importance then nothing ever would. If you never before helped anyone and never again would this one person, all by herself, just gave you the greatest compliment.