Night Float Heartbreak

I think I just diagnosed leukemia tonight, in a 42 year old guy with two kids.

I’m desperately hoping that I’m just too inexperienced and misinterpreted the peripheral smear….but I don’t think I did.

I liked it better when I thought his fevers were from malaria from his vacation in Puerto Rico.

I love excuses to go down to the lab and do actual microscope work (especially if I have time to do it), but sometimes looking into those eyepieces results in an unmerciful stab to the gut.

Paging hematology/oncology….second opinion, please!

I really want an attending to show up and tell me I’m an idiot. But I have to wait until morning; right now I’m the senior medicine doctor in house. So at least for a couple of hours, this guy has leukemia.

I hope not longer…..though I have a gnawing suspicion in my heart.

I’m going to go watch the sun rise.

Published in: on September 13, 2011 at 6:08 am  Comments (5)  

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5 CommentsLeave a comment

  1. Reading your blog is such a comfort to me, because it shows me that it isn’t only the local doctors–the ones who live next door to their patients–who CARE. It does me good to know that my life is probably always in the hands of professionals who want me to be well, even if they don’t know me.

    Thank you so much for that.

  2. Oh, ugh. Hope you’re wrong. But if not, I’m glad he has doctors like you around.

  3. Oh, Dr. G, I do hope you’re wrong.

    Thanks for being such a good, caring person and for giving us such a vivid glimpse of you, happily doing lab work–only to get such an unhappy result.

    Best of luck to you and your patients.

  4. 😦

  5. […] Think about that while I tell you about my fever dude! Remember my fever dude? The one that I was all like, damn, he has lymphoma? […]

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