Something happened last week that I forgot about until yesterday, one of those once-in-a-lifetime moments that nurses hear about happening to other people but don't believe will ever happen to them:
I had a sensible, intelligent, well-informed patient leave AMA and I totally agreed with his decision.
This particular patient had some pretty complex, chronic problems that had been exacerbated by a combination of dehydration and missed medications, and he ended up in the emergency room at Holy Kamole with weird symptoms. The fine folks at HK sent him to us for definitive diagnosis and treatment. Turns out he had missed some meds and gotten dehydrated.
So we ran a few liters into him and titrated his meds back up to therapeutic levels and were getting ready to get him on out when one of the new attendings on service decided we needed to do a much more thorough workup for stroke, something that did not actually happen to this patient. That would've required he spend several more days in the hospital, according to the doc, even though everything could be done as an outpatient.
So he asked about checking out AMA. The attending covering for Doctor Overreactive is a rational sort, but was worried about officially discharging somebody else's patient. So we did everything we'd normally do for a discharge except fill out the official paperwork, and off he went with a smile.
I'm still not entirely sure that this doesn't signal the End Times. Usually, if a patient checks out of our facility against medical advice, it's because they're either angry about the treatment they've gotten or are peevish because they're out of drugs. People who leave in the middle of treatment for whatever landed 'em in the hospital are not in the best of headspaces. This guy? Totally fine.
In other news, the appointment with Dr. Crane went fine. I got poked and squoze and told to make appointments for scans in November. Nothing's swollen in my neck, thank God, but he still wants a CT and an MRI to make sure I'm good on a radiological level. He dithered for a couple of minutes about whether to do both a with-and-without contrast CT *and* an MRI this time, saying he didn't want to "scan me to death," until I said "Dooood. I had CANSUH. Scan me all you want, okay? Just make sure it hasn't come back." So: scans in November, chest and abdominal CTs sometime next year, and then on to regular follow-up in perpetuity.
Next time I'll tell you about the Stupid Thing somebody said to me regarding having had my mouth hacked on. For now, I'm due another cup of coffee.