Thursday, March 20, 2014

I got an unexpected message in the office today.
Karen, the daughter of one of my patients, called to let me know she passed away.
Mrs. G was a delightful 89 year old woman with hyperthyroidism from toxic multinodular goiter. My first rule of thumb when dealing with the elderly is, they've gotten so far on their own: don't screw them up!
So, I tend to be more conservative and try the simplest route; be it my diabetes patients or other issues. In her case, we went against the norm and instead treated her with antithyroid medication.
She responded wonderfully, so over the years, I've come to see her just annually. I saw her just 2 months ago at which she demanded I show her pictures of our visit to Malaysia. Which I did.
Her daughter called to say that she passed away from respiratory failure from pneumonia. But wanted to let me know they really enjoyed their visits here, and that Mrs. G really liked me. She also wanted to let us know she won't be coming next January.
It was a bittersweet type of call. On one hand it's nice to know that some patients do appreciate what you do. And having seen some of my patients for years, I do enjoy the social aspects of the visits, too. On the other hand I was saddened to hear of her passing, though her daughter and I agreed that she had led a long and very productive life, and it was just her time.
Goodbye Mrs. G. It was a pleasure knowing you...