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Wed Feb 11, 2015, 10:56 AM

I just read a hospital report. One of my homeless patients has died.

Cardiac arrest secondary to a number of serious co-morbidities.

He was a sweet guy battling all sorts of problems related to a history of IV heroin use. He'd been clean for a while, but his health was just too poor to keep him going. I was grateful to read that his family, whom the hospital had summoned, wanted him placed on comfort care, rather than insist on painful and useless interventions. He was in no pain when he died.

I always enjoyed my visits with him. He was a super guy...

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Reply I just read a hospital report. One of my homeless patients has died. (Original post)
Aristus Feb 2015 OP
In_The_Wind Feb 2015 #1
Aristus Feb 2015 #2
In_The_Wind Feb 2015 #3
Aristus Feb 2015 #4
In_The_Wind Feb 2015 #8
CaliforniaPeggy Feb 2015 #5
panader0 Feb 2015 #6
magical thyme Feb 2015 #7
u4ic Feb 2015 #9
Aristus Feb 2015 #14
u4ic Feb 2015 #15
Worried senior Feb 2015 #10
Lady Freedom Returns Feb 2015 #11
dixiegrrrrl Feb 2015 #12
elleng Feb 2015 #13

Response to Aristus (Original post)

Wed Feb 11, 2015, 11:04 AM

1. I'm so sorry, Aristus.

I know how much you truly care about your patients.

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Response to In_The_Wind (Reply #1)

Wed Feb 11, 2015, 11:06 AM

2. Thank you, I_T_W.



I hadn't seen him in about 6 months. I'm going to miss him...

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Response to Aristus (Reply #2)

Wed Feb 11, 2015, 11:07 AM

3. Would he have been able to see you at your new job location?

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Response to In_The_Wind (Reply #3)

Wed Feb 11, 2015, 11:09 AM

4. If he could make the trip out here.

Some of my patients are able to take the bus. It's about a 25 minute ride out here. Others aren't.

OTOH, I visited with a formerly homeless patient yesterday. I hadn't seen him in a year. He got off the streets in the meantime, and is back on his feet. He's looking good.

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Response to Aristus (Reply #4)

Wed Feb 11, 2015, 11:34 AM

8. Glad to hear the good news about patient you saw yesterday.

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Response to Aristus (Original post)

Wed Feb 11, 2015, 11:13 AM

5. I am so sorry, my dear Aristus...

But at least he was surrounded by the people he loved, and in a safe, warm place when he died.

We take these things for granted, don't we? But for the homeless, nothing can be taken for granted.

You have a good heart, as did he...I know he also enjoyed your visits.

Safe passage to him.

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Response to Aristus (Original post)

Wed Feb 11, 2015, 11:26 AM

6. Sorry to hear this Aristus

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Response to Aristus (Original post)

Wed Feb 11, 2015, 11:28 AM

7. I'm so sorry for your loss...

 

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Response to Aristus (Original post)

Wed Feb 11, 2015, 07:14 PM

9. So sorry to hear Aristus

I've heard from doctors that the first death is often the hardest. Don't know if he was your first, but you did all you could for him, his family was with him at the end, and it sounds like he had a "good death".

I really wish we could start treating addiction like the health problem it is, not as a moral issue.

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Response to u4ic (Reply #9)

Wed Feb 11, 2015, 11:03 PM

14. He wasn't my first patient death.

I've had about five or six since I started in practice. It doesn't get easier, though.

Thank you for your kind words, u4ic.

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Response to Aristus (Reply #14)

Wed Feb 11, 2015, 11:50 PM

15. I don't imagine any are easy

Very few of us are so up close and personal with death on a regular basis.

I was told that young doc's are so full of hope to save people, filled with the wonders of modern medicine, etc and that first death makes them recognize its - and their - limits.

It takes a special person to work with the marginalized in society.

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Response to Aristus (Original post)

Wed Feb 11, 2015, 07:20 PM

10. I am sorry

you are going thru this.

It was nice to read your feelings about these people. So many times we wonder just what our medical professionals really think and if they really care. You showed you do.

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Response to Aristus (Original post)

Wed Feb 11, 2015, 07:25 PM

11. ...


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Response to Aristus (Original post)

Wed Feb 11, 2015, 08:50 PM

12. the deaths of recently clean and sober clients always struck me as particularly unfair.

After all the hard work to get clean, and when they were able to enjoy being straight, BOOM..the bottom falls out.

Realistically we know that is a possibility, but somehow it feels different than a death while using.

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Response to Aristus (Original post)

Wed Feb 11, 2015, 08:55 PM

13. I'm so sorry, to hear this, Aristus,

but glad about he received comfort care.

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