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Thursday, January 13, 2011

I Prefer to Stay Away from Numerical Predictions

Well the pundits are turning flips because Gabby (Gabrielle Giffords) opened her eyes! As the messiah broke the news to the crowd, cheers erupted and there were tears!

Hmmmm.....as I stated in my first post on this subject, I am not that excited nor optimistic. As I recall, Terry Schiavo, (remember her?) had eye movements, yet she spent her life after her brain injury in a vegetative state kept alive by tubes and machines......sigh! I'm not trying to be an old poop, although some of my friends will tell you that I AM an old poop, rather I'm just being a realist.

I heard that her neurosurgeon declared that there was a 101 percent chance that she would survive. This is a slippery slope if you ask me. Too many things can go wrong and unexpected complications can occur even in the best of hands. I have never promised a patient a 100 percent chance of anything. If this woman should suddenly up and die, then this neurosurgeon will look like a pompous ass. Actually I have known several neurosurgeons that ARE pompous asses.......I could even name names!

I have found it wise to never deal in numeric percentages. "How long do I have to live, Doc?" If we're talking terminal illness, I will simply give them some facts and figures about survival rates out of the medical books, but I also explain that I do not hold the keys of life and death and that check out time will be up to Almighty God. So I cannot and do not tell them how long they have to live. That is a task best left to TV doctors.

More than once I have had a patient tell me that doctor Jones told them they would be dead in 6 months and 20 years later they are still alive and kicking. I gotta think that maybe Dr. Jones missed the diagnosis in the first place or perhaps God really saw fit to work a miracle. I do believe in miracles, but again that one is not up to us, no matter how much we would like it to be.

So my prayer is that Gabby will miraculously make a full recovery. However I just can't forget how disappointed that cheering crowd may be if they end up with a vegetable with eye movements......yes I know.......I'm just an old poop!

1 comment:

  1. They say she is following commands "raise your right hand, lift your left foot", is moving all limbs, her eyes are following objects when asked, breathing tube still in for a few more days. It all does sound good, especially since it has only been less than a week since she was shot. We will pray for the best.

    Debbie
    Right Truth
    http://www.righttruth.typepad.com

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