When an old memory returns, sometimes it unveils a lesson, while forgotten, is highly pertinent to today.  Since finding my “Milo,” my attitude has been much better.  My body continues to be a decrepit mess but my reaction to the physical problems has remarkably improved.

Yesterday, I was thinking about a patient I haven’t thought of for years.  I realized that I had used his story many times over the years in order to teach patients how powerful (and potentially destructive) a human brain is.  The story that follows is a true story and one worth telling.

Mr. “X” was a fifty year old admitted to the hospital with a severe bilateral pneumonia, COPD and hypertension.  The first few days were rough and the patient was transferred to the ICU and intubated.  Mr. “X” did well in the ICU and, in short order, was transferred back to a routine medical bed.

On the day prior to his anticipated discharge home, the floor nurse called me, requesting that I come in to see my patient.  She said the patient was crashing and it looked like he was going to die.  I almost laughed.  I had seen my patient around 11 pm the night before and he was fine.  I told the nurse that she needed to double check his vitals and reassess him and that I would be in to discharge him after I closed the office (it was a very busy day).  I could hear the anger in the nurse’s voice building.  She again asked me to come, restating her findings.

I informed the office that I had an emergency at the hospital and hopped in my car.  I was pissed as I was sure I was right and I truly did not need to disrupt my office schedule but I knew the nurse’s skill set and that she was both caring and highly competent.  As soon as I got there, I examined my patient, reviewed the notes, lab and x-ray and determined that the patient was truly at risk of dying and, apparently, dying from nothing.  Everything except the patient was normal.

“X”, I don’t know what’s causing your failing health, but, as we discussed yesterday, I was planning to send you home today.  Now, despite a normal chest x-ray and tests, I may need to move you back to the ICU.”

Mr. “X” responded with, “But Doc, you came in around 1 am and told me to get my affairs in order and that I was dying!”

“In the first place, I didn’t know you had an affair.  That’s a joke. (“X” smiled a little).  I was sound asleep at 1 am.  My expectation was to send you home today.  You are well on paper and dying in person. Now I know why.”

“X” had a vivid dream and was convinced he was dying, so much so, that he was dying.  I told “X” that he had two choices, either believe his dream and die for no real reason or believe me, eat, get out of bed and go home in the morning. He went home the next day.

The mind is a very powerful structure.  My Parkinson’s is not better but the way I am coping with it is better.  A positive attitude can be a powerful natural medicine. a negative attitude can be deadly. Remember Mr. “X’s” story and, one day, it could even save your life.  Remembering it is certainly helping me cope.

Here’s your jokes for the day”

  1. If smoking marijuana cause short term memory loss. . .

Then what does smoking marijuana cause?

  • A man goes to the doctor to report a serious memory loss problem

Man: Doctor, I have a serious memory loss problem

Doctor: Hmm.. and since when did you have this problem?

Man: What problem?

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