Mourning a patient's loss


In my first blog post I shared the story of how listening to my “gut”, that quiet voice of disquiet inside, led me to diagnosing a blood clot in a patient.

I have not seen the patient in several weeks, I found out why today when her husband came in for a visit. Just a few weeks after I made the clot diagnosis, she died. The clot was not a result of air travel as I had thought but was instead due to lung cancer that had spread through out her body. Before he even had a chance to make sense of the diagnosis (if one can) his 54 year-old wife of 19 years was gone.

I was stunned when he told me, rendered speechless (which is quite a feat). She had seemed so healthy and alive.

As we talked I was amazed at how well he was doing. I should not have been so surprised as he is a man of very strong faith with a firm assurance that he will see his wife again. What a blessed hope he has.

Today was a reminder of how brief life is. James describes it well, “You do not know what your life will be like tomorrow, you are just a vapor that appears for a little while and then vanishes away” (James 4:14 NASB).

Let's savor every moment that God gives us, honor Him day by doing our best to live for Him and love for Him every chance we get, for who knows how many chances we have left.

I am not ashamed to admit that I was in tears today, I was deeply moved at his loss. He and his family will be a part of my prayers this Christmas, and hopefully a part of yours as well.