I love apple fritters personally over most donuts, but down here in Honduras the kind of donut that I really wanted was the “magic donut” aka a CT scanner.
One day in the ER, this 17 year old walked in with abdominal pain. Mari’s (not her real name) assessment was just “off” with diffuse pain, oddly soft abdomen, heart racing even after 3Liters of saline fluids, her labs fairly ok and it took her forever to urinate. A visiting doc was evaluating her as well as one of our family docs. She had pain but was still able to visit with family and play on her phone like a normal 17 year old, usually a sign that a patient is not that emergent or sick. We admitted her for observation due to not having the magic donut. My gut said appendicitis though it wasn’t obvious enough the first day.
A few days later on Saturday night I went in for my night shift and hear about Maris multi hour surgery the day before. I was right, she did have appendicitis but also a massive occluding gallstone, ruptured appendix and mass amounts of infected fluid throughout her abdomen. They took the gallbladder, appendix, and a small portion of her bowel out in a stem to stern incision. Left her with 3 drains in to prevent infection from accumulating again.
Saturday night she kept going down hill, she would not take deep breaths, was in and out of consciousness and her respiratory system was taking a hit. She was fighting sepsis after this massive surgery. Honestly the surgeon and I feared losing her that night as she also was potentially developing ARDS(acute respiratory distress syndrome). My thoughts were that I did not want to call a code on a 17 year old, that is to come to the point of needing to resuscitate her. So after I gave her her 8pm meds I honestly came to the family and asked if I could pray over her. Y’all I was at the end of my rope and so I cried out to God to save her life.
So after many hours of monitoring and treating this very sick girl, 5am came and “amanecio”, the light changes throughout the hospital from darkness to this beautiful soft tinge of pink and Mari made it through this critical juncture. We kept her for another week or so to recover her strength, fighting infection and getting her body to function again.
A few weeks later she came back for her follow up, I ran into her and she looked great!
I am so thankful that God gave her the breath of life that night. Despite us not having a “magic donut” for easier diagnostics. I think down here we operate in a way where we practice the best medicine we can and then God fills the gap, and sometimes we get to witness the very sick walk out alive.
A donut does sound great though….