The P.H.E.R. is like the U.S.S.R. only more dangerous. It turns out that the Medical School of Phil did not provide me with the expertise needed to accurately diagnose Phil. How can that be? It’s the Medical School of PHIL! Sadly, last Saturday, we ended up back in the Presbyterian Hospital Emergency Room (P.H.E.R.). In all fairness to Phil, and me, hospital staff misdiagnosed him, too. They thought he was just experiencing pain, and hesitated to admit him for simple “pain control.” I explained (maybe not in the nicest way) that he needed to be admitted to determine what was causing the pain. They admitted him for “pain control.”
A few tests later, having diagnosed him with a very rare widespread life threatening infection, doctors started coming out of the woodwork (each charging us a fifty dollar co-pay to satisfy their curiosity). So, less than a year after retiring from a job that required me to spend ten to twelve hours a day in a hospital, I’m back to spending ten to twelve hours a day in a hospital.
Phil has it much worse than I, because he’s spending a solid twenty-four hours a day in a hospital, and he feels horrible, and rather than improving, he’s deteriorating daily. This makes me sad, so when I came home today, I cleaned house, watered the yard, did laundry and made myself a mock Irish Cream cocktail (milk, Irish Cream coffee creamer and brandy). I put so much brandy in it, that it curdled the Irish Cream coffee creamer. I still drank it. I first started making this mock cocktail after experiencing a very bad day while I was working ten to twelve hour days in a hospital. Retirement is turning out to be a lot like work.
Phil can use prayers! I may need more brandy and Irish Cream coffee creamer (I’m good on the milk). And, just maybe, medical professionals (not all, but some) need to be reminded that at the core of each interesting case is a human being: the patient.