I saw Mr. L for traumatic central diabetes insipidus today. And I was struck by the story my resident told me as he reported the case.
A young father, in his 30s, who had been previously well. And perhaps in a moment of childish fun, decided to fool around on his motorcycle with his son. Without a helmet on.
Young, healthy, promising life. Full of love, laughter.
In a split second, he falls with his cranium hitting onto the solid concrete ground. They say the EMS found his pupils blown, though mildly reactive to light. His GCS was 3. He was airlifted here where he underwent emergency craniotomy a month ago.
Today, when I saw him, he was apparently no better than 3 weeks ago. Unresponsive though breathing spontaneously.
I catch myself thinking, how life can change in just a blink of an eye. In a split second. Life switches from heaven to living hell. One minute, a loving parent enjoying a moment of silliness with his son, and the next his son is sobbing beside his father who will likely never recover. Being a newish father, I can't help but feel so much sorrow seeing Mr. L, someone my age. Feeling sadness for his family, and thinking about the what ifs, and how life might have turned out differently if he decided to, say, play catch with his son instead, or watched TV, or even put on a helmet that day? Or, what if he caught his fall with his arm instead? What if that were me, instead? What could or would I have done differently?
So fragile, life is.
I pray I'm wrong; I pray the trauma surgeon, neurologist and all the doctors on his case are wrong. I pray that someone, Mr. L would get to have more silly moments with his son again.