Sunday, November 2, 2008

Everything must Change

Don't feel too certain, when the doctor pats your hand, reassuring you that this operation has a 95% success rate and that you'll be just fine. That's what they told my mother when she went into the hospital for a standard C-Section. She died, anyway. Everyone expected her to come out of it just fine, there's a 95% success rate, isn't there? Well, no, there is not. There is a 50 percent chance you will live, and another 50 percent chance you will die. Mom was the 5% who didn't make it. She might have made it IF: it hadn't been the young surgeon's first Caesarian section, if he hadn't perforated the wall of her uterus, if he hadn't perforated the large intestine, if she hadn't developed septic shock, if she hadn't progressed so rapidly to a staph infection, if the nurse giving her a pre-op sedative injection would have simply noted that she'd given her the shot and not been distracted and forgotten, then the second nurse who came and gave her the shot for the second time wouldn't have....and, well, you get my point. Many things go into surviving or dying on the operating table.
And when the doctors reassured my 80 year old aunt Doris that she would be fine, that the stent operation on her heart was routine, with a 95% survival rate, she might have lived, if, the surgeon who'd done this many times before, would not have accidentally burst the aneurism, and a whole host of health problems she brought with her to the operating table that no one could do anything about. Even so,
rest in peace, aunt Doris.

1 comment:

  1. I just didn't know what to say about this woman. She was unpleasant to me in life, and seldom had anything nice to say. She was a hard drinking chain-smoking Naval base commander's wife. She didn't put up with anything. Uncle isn't much more pleasant to be around, either. Her nieces and nephews are not welcomed at the funeral, which is just as well. I still love her, but I don't know that I could really miss her.
    My heart still goes out to my uncle Bill.


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