Sunday, December 26, 2010

Home for the Holidays

Being in the hospital days before Christmas it was clear that patients really didn't want to be there. It's not their bed, their decorations or their roommate. They likely don't feel well and simply would rather be ill on their own terms in the comfort of their own home.

Deck the Halls

It was sad to see so many who were aching to be discharged from our care to be sent home for the holidays. They understood their illness was severe enough to warrant continued medical care, but like Dorothy said, "there's no place like home." For what it was worth, the halls were decorated with sparkling ornaments, holiday wreaths were hung near each door, and festive music echoed for those close enough to hear. The hospital staff were directly influenced by the trimmings and hopefully some of their holiday spirit spilled over into the patient rooms.

It made me reflect on the importance of relationships among friends and families. Being surrounded by strangers that have only known us for a few hours or days is in no way as fulfilling as family members and good friends. Cherish good health and loved ones because it is too easy to take them for granted. Despite being hospitalized, I hope those patients felt the holiday spirit even if it was briefly shared by a nurse, house keeper, medical student or other provider. May you and yours have a festive holiday season.

Question of the Week
A 26-year-old HIV-positive woman is brought into the emergency room after she is found lying unresponsive in the street. She has no recollection of what had occurred. She reports sensing a smell "like burning hair" and then blacking out. A medical history reveals that she has had a fever and a headache for the past week. An MRI of the brain shows multiple ring-enhancing lesions. Which of the following is the most likely cause of her symptoms?

A. Cryptococcus neoformans
B. Cryptosporidium
C. Cytomegalovirus
D. Pneumocystis carinii
E. Toxoplasma gondii

Answer & Explanation


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