Saturday, January 08, 2005

Can you spell 'BIOHAZARD'?

Had to do an incision & drainage of an abscess at the left armpit of a patient with HIV. That was a bit unnerving, especially after I had incised the abscess and the pus and blood started draining. I remember thinking, Man, do I have any open wounds on my fingers? Are the gloves intact?
Saw another bunch of patients, which got me thinking. I bet I could come up with a scoring system to predict if someone's gonna end up as a lost cause. Yea, the TK Criteria:

Being a parent before age of 20: 1 Point
Single parent: 1 Point
On antidepressants: 1 Point
Taking opioids: 1 Point
Smoker: 1 Point
Current history of fibromyalgia or irritable bowel: 1 Point Each
Family history of fibromyalgia or irritable bowel: 1 Point

3-4: High risk
>5 Points: Look for a social worker

I guess the question is, who IS in control on one's destiny? Is it our parents' fault, ours, or our environment when you end up doing drugs?
I felt bad when this one patient of mine (in his late 30's) came in with his parents because they were worried he wouldn't come to the clinic if they didn't force him. Aged, weakened parents, who should be enjoying their lives now. And yet, they have to still look after him.


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