Wednesday, March 21, 2007

yes, a rollercoaster

Before all this started I'd heard/read serious illness described as a rollercoaster. At the time I thought this was exaggeration, but this opinion has by now been corrected. One day things are looking up, I sleep well; then next day we're unsure; the next day is bad and we may have to say our goodbyes -- then repeat. It's wearing but there's simply no way around it. There's no crying wolf here; we, doctors included, are in unknown territory.

Take a lung with cystic fibrosis. Expose it to all the wild stuff in the air and you have multiple colonies of bacteria, treat it with antibiotics a few dozen times, and you'll end up with varying degrees of antibiotic resistance. In other words, a random spadeful of dirt from a random garden. No two patients are going to be alike unless they start with identical base resistances, pass through identical environments, and get identical treatments. I imagine the older they get, the more individual they become. Hence unknown territory. There are just too many variables to track and too few different antibiotics.

Today is a pretty good day. Temp is holding steady though high-ish, a new type of oxygen delivery brings the saturation number up, the mate feels better rested and less slammed around by the fear. It would be nice to keep it this way for a few days, but no one can predict tomorrow. I'd like to think we're acquiring a small bit of zen, an ability to roll with what the day brings. Not anywhere near perfect zen, but enough to balance depression with optimism.

1 comment:

Leann said...
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