Saturday, July 6, 2013

My Most Memorable Patient

Before I became a children’s book author, I was a Registered Respiratory Therapist. My most memorable patient was Shelley Clarkson (name changed for privacy).
Shelley was a 20 year old cystic fibrosis patient.
Cystic fibrosis causes the patient to have thick, tenacious secretions in the lungs.
These secretions are infected and must be removed using aerosol treatments and vigorous chest physical therapy.
Most of my C.F. (cystic fibrosis) were admitted 2-3 times a year for pulmonary toilet.
During the course of her admissions, Shelley and I became close friends. When I had a break, I would visit her and we would talk about the future.
During one visit, Shelley confided in me that the doctors have told her that she only had six months to a year to live.
She asked me if I thought her life was over.
I replied that it is never over until a doctor signs your death certificate. So enjoy your life and live every day like it is your last day.
Shortly thereafter, Shelley met a handsome young blond man. They began dating and soon fell in love.
She built her circle of friends and started going to more social gatherings.
Then one day when I was out of town, I received word that she was admitted.
Shortly thereafter, I received word that see had died on Labor Day Weekend.
When I attend her wake, her mother handed me a note.
I opened the thank you card; she hadn’t signed it.
Instead, she had written: “September came too soon.”

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