The Pondering Grapefruit
a blog of moments
It began with flu-like symptoms, just like any other day, any other flu. This patient came in with cough, body aches, runny nose. It seemed like it would be a simple case, just like any other flu. When we interviewed her more though, we asked if she had been around any sick people recently. She said yes, and then added that she lives with seven other people at a rehabilitation facility, and they were all sick with the same thing, and they had come here all together.
That day the ER was packed with patients. At one point the hospital was on diversion, and there were 70 patients in the ER. They were crammed and placed in all possible nooks and corners, the hospital literally overflowing with patients. We saw patients in the waiting room. Some of them were held in small rooms here and there, and all the hallway beds were filled. We tried our best to see these flus to make more space for those in the waiting room.
As we ran from room to room, I was expecting for each story to be the same, but was surprised to see how different they all were. One girl had the cough and the body aches, but she also had urinary retention for several months. Another also had right ankle pain. Another one said that she usually has bronchitis every year. With each patient, it was like seeing variations on a theme, each ailment with its own added sub melodies and instruments.
Perhaps it would be helpful to think of sickness as a song, a song that plays slightly differently in each person. The basic melody is recognizable in all the major symptoms, but each case has its own variations unique to that person. No musical performance is the same. I just thought that viewing illnesses in terms of variations on a theme, could add some layer of insight to the way we think of medicine.
About this Blog
I have no idea how to describe what my writing is about. I just write. I post when I can, which can be weekly or monthly depending on where the universe is taking me. As for the Grapefruit, my Vietnamese nickname, Buoi, means grapefruit.