(Snippets from the frontline)
Beyond the realm of modern medicine
She was 90 years old and admitted with a stroke. Two weeks before, her rent increased, so she cut her blood pressure medicine in half.
A former writer and editor of a prominent national magazine, she was articulate and intelligent. On the second day, while I was with her and the family, she suddenly stopped breathing and became unresponsive. A Code Blue was called and CPR initiated.
The hospital team was magnificent and organized, establishing an airway, giving medication, and attempting cardioversion (electric shock). Everything was done according to modern evidence-based medicine.
For thirty minutes, she did not respond to treatment. The doctors, nurses, and relatives standing outside the room saw the inevitable.
As I stood at bedside, the family circled and clasped hands in the doorway, bowing their heads in prayer. It would be our last attempt at cardioversion. Voila…a normal heart rhythm was established with blood pressure.
Sometimes, with family help, doctors and nurses can go beyond the realm of modern medicine. Whether you believe or not, the mind, soul, and spirit sustains us in life.
The patient eventually went home.
Gene Uzawa Dorio, M.D.